Long Lost Relations

I received an unexpected request for family tree information last week from a woman in Canada.  According to Ancestry. com, she and I are DNA matches and are likely 5th to 8th cousins. Her great grandmother and my Great Grandfather Lunzmann were siblings. I never knew he had siblings, but there he was on her tree, the youngest of about six children. I had never really ever looked for his siblings, and searched  instead for earlier ancestors.

I am very happy that my long lost relative contacted me, since I know very little about the Lunzmann family.  I know about my great grandfather’s life after 1900, but not in the 30 years before that and not his family life in the small village he came from in Mecklenburg , Germany.

This is one time that I welcome the intrusion of new technology in my life . I don’t always feel that way about it.

What about the latest technology do you find charming? What do you find alarming?

 

 

61 thoughts on “Long Lost Relations”

      1. They have kits for sale at CVS. Just saw one yesterday while getting medical supplies after my dog got bitten at the dog park.

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        1. The dog is OK–no pain, but an inch long gash that seems to be responding to “Liquid Bandaid” and lots of love. I have been trying to decide if I need to take her to the vet for stitches, but it looks good so far.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Someone described the revolutionary impact of computers on daily life: “Anything that is information can be made almost instantly accessible.”

    That simple fact suggests how the internet has revolutionized my life. If I want to change a setting on my cordless phone, I can access the manual online. If I need driving directions to my new cardiologist’s office, that is on the internet. If my daughter needs a new mattress, I can send her pages of analysis, testing and ratings of mattresses. If an actor in a movie looks familiar, I can look up the cast and learn which films each actor appeared in. If I want information about farmer’s markets in my new city, that is easily found.

    Much of what I call information could be called trivia, but it turns out I’m a trivial sort of fellow. When i am awake I access information on the internet at least once an hour and often much more frequently.

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    1. I know I don’t need to remind you of this, but keep in mind that not all information you access on the internet is accurate. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of “fake,” already debunked “news” that keeps getting passed on as fact.

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      1. I didn’t mention the precautions I take when consuming internet news because it is so integral to the process that I do it without thinking. Any time we find “news” on a topic where some people have a special point of view or an axe to grind, of course we have to be skeptical or beyond skeptical.

        But that isn’t just a problem with the internet. I read or encounter things in my daily life all the time that seem dubious to me. Nobody can take information on the internet as gospel, but neither can they blindly believe news accounts in newspapers or on news shows. It is all part of being an intelligent consumer of information and opinion.

        That said, the internet has totally changed the way I operate with information. The directions to my cardiologist were good, and I’m now back. The reviews of mattresses I shared with my daughter were from sources with no interest in selling anything. I sincerely appreciate living in a world where so much data is so readily available.

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    2. All that is exactly what I love about my iPhone and the internet. IMDB is a favorite site. Google maps. Who’s the guitar player in that band?
      what is that surgery called?
      So many questions! So many answers!

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  2. Renee, I was contacted through Ancestry.com DNA links, many times now. The most interesting was this summer. A 35 year old man contacted me because he was conceived by artificial insemination at the University of Iowa Hospitals, and he was related to me on my father’s side. He has a rare illness and he was looking for information about the illness. (I know of no one in the family who has it.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Charming: yesterday I led a statewide meeting. For the first time we broadcasted it as a webinar with 2 people outstate online with us. Very helpful.

    Alarming: Privacy invasions. Facebook. I find FB to be something I just don’t want in my life–it seems to invite all kinds of trouble. Some of my clients are running their lives around what happens on that site. Really out-of-hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People in my town don’t need Facebook to know what is going on in my life. They all see me at my best and worst in public as I garden in my yard or shop. Oh, the joys of a small town!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. At a recent Psychology Ethucs workshop I attended, the presenter distinguished between digital immigrants and digital natives. Natives are those who feel very comfortable in the digital world and probably grew up in that environment. Immigrants, such as myself, are sometimes unwilling and bewildered participants in the digital world. It is interesting, though, that we immigrants know what we don’t know about the on-line world and its ethical ramifications, while natives don’t know what they don’t know.

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    1. I’m an immigrant unable to assimilate in my new technology country. Several months ago, I was unable to remember my iCloud password and so began a six-month journey through a dozen techs, a hundred phone hours, and trips to the Apple Store. The entire trauma was the process I had to go through just to reset a new password. They’ve got a new computer-run mousetrap which is designed for security. My account was put into “Account Recovery” mode and got jammed over and over because my “trusted device” is my cell phone. As soon as I used the phone, Account Recovery kicked me back out again. And again.

      The long and short of it is that Apple’s shiny new computerized security process trapped me into a stalemate. Every tech advisor had a different tack. None of them worked, so to this day I can’t access iTunes, iCloud, iBooks, iPhoto (for ordering prints).

      I choose to believe that this one’s on Apple since my only mistake was forgetting my password.

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    2. Young Adult took a social media course this past spring so she informed me back then that I was a digital immigrant while she was a digital native. I’m happy with my digital immigrant status.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Charming: cat videos. Went to the International Cat Video Festival last night. Thanks for the alert, tim.
    Alarming: Russian propaganda influencing the U.S. election, I would have thought people in this country were too smart and well-informed to be taken in. Apparently not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Friend of mine here at work also went to the Cat video Festival last night. She was unimpressed. She said way too much advertising based on the content.

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      1. I didn’t notice the advertising much, except for the boxboard cat ears handed out by the car dealership. The festival did give a $10,000 check to Home For Life, so I guess if the money for the advertising made that possible, I don’t mind the advertising.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. i think the good news is the jestons world we live in ( i’m waiting for the flying cars) the way we are increasingly able to access things like the thermostat and light bulbs from 100 miles away is impressive. being able to dock with the space station on its way to mars seemed like a sci fi storyline when i was a kid, today it’s sop

    what i don’t like is big brother watching my internet identity and remembering i said trump is not my favorite president. the irs having access to my visa card and my daughters being followed by who knows who on instagram or snapchat or whatever this weeks thing is

    my idea of a drawer ful of yellow legal pads as a reference is old fashion and never going to come back but something about a comfort level of being between you and your maker had comfort without thinking about it

    today i try not to think too much about it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. With regard to genealogy research, the internet has been a boon. I’ve been working on my family history for almost 30 years. When I began, I had to physically visit repositories of data—county archives, the Minnesota History Center, LDS archives, the collection at UW Madison—and spend hours scrolling through microfilm and microfiche. Then I had to put whatever I discovered into an organized record- not one of my strengths. With the amount of information available online through sites like Ancestry, I can range further and dig deeper at home, at any hour, perhaps in my pajamas than I ever could pre-internet. And the information is more or less automatically organized into a coherent structure. There are downsides, not the least being that it is not easy to separate the information and the organized structure it occupies from the online site, so you are sort of committed to a monthly fee to maintain your hard-won information. And I wonder how sites like Ancestry got exclusive rights to things like the US census records. Shouldn’t that be freely available public information?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ancestry got the rights to those records because they are owned by the Mormon church (LDS)–Ancestry.com is what became of the LDS genealogy site of 15 years ago.

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      1. And, you can access the census records and other public records through many other genealogy sites (each state has one, as well as many counties. I use the ones in Iowa because that is where the family settled in the 1800’s)

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    1. I think the 5000 indicates the total number of people who have ever looked at the blog, but is certainly not indicative of the number that check in on a regular or even irregular basis.

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        1. Correct. We don’t have 5,000 people a day looking at the blog. I’m not sure I can figure out how many people actually read the blog every day. But we do have almost 5,600 followers which means that at some point they have clicked the Follow button as opposed to just Like. And we do have two sometimes three a day who are new followers. My phone beeps every single time.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I also outsourced research on my last car. I let the Young Adult do it. She had a great time, did a great job, and saved me a lot of headache.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not a technophobe; computers have been integral to my work and aspects of my daily life for at least 25 years. I am, however, techno-wary, especially where the internet is involved. The ability to seek and find information of all kinds is, as you say, charming. Having information or quasi-information pushed at me unbidden is alarming. Intrusion into my privacy for purposes of data mining is more than alarming. I used to have a Linked-In account. I probably still do- it’s hard to quit them. But anything they send me goes directly to spam. I quit when I realized that Linked-In was acting without my knowledge sending out requests to my acquaintances asking to link up. That meant they were able to access my contacts list. Facebook does that as well, but I don’t have a Facebook account and never have. I’m not sure I really want to know that much about the beliefs and opinions of my friends and acquaintances. I used to be fairly active in several special interest bulletin boards back when they were public and un-monetized. I regret they have all migrated to Facebook but not enough to join up.

    I try to always keep in mind that on the internet when something is free, you are the product.

    I don’t have a smart phone. The cell phone I have is the first one I ever bought and it’s about 15 years old. I wouldn’t have that one, probably, but Robin gets annoyed when she wants to reach me but can’t and there are no pay phones any more. 90% of the calls I get on it are solicitations of some sort. The other 10% are almost all Robin. I get probably 3 or 4 calls a week. I don’t give out my cell phone number. I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognize. I don’t answer if I’m driving. Most cell phones, including mine, don’t work reliably in my stucco house. I hate talking on the phone in public. So why would I get a smart phone? I know smart phones do a lot of other things but those things are just not essential to me during the time I am away from home.

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      1. We bought our first computer in 1994. I remember asking my computer smart friend what the internet was vs. the web? And he installed our first AOL disc program…
        And upgrading modems from 2400 to 14400! And then 56000! (had to look those numbers up. Thank you Google)

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  9. The relative ease of researching family connections has led to a new category of family awkwardness. It is now possible (and not that uncommon) for people pop up in our lives to say (based on genealogy research) “Hello there. We haven’t met before, but I’m your half sister!”

    We just dealt with one of those moments in my family. After a difficult start, it went surprisingly well. But an earlier example of the same sort of surprise was a real bomb that left people angry and confused.

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  10. Here’s a little story about modern technology and information.

    My erstwife, who lives in Belgium, wrote that she had to buy a car. She HATES everything about such a decision and is highly anxious about making that kind of decision.

    By contrast, I love researching car purchases. Since I lack money to buy good cars, this research is fantasy fun for me. And the fun can presumably help someone.

    I spent well over a year doing this research. It was a tricky thing, for most of what I know about cars in the US cannot be simply extended to European cars and European tax systems and European roads, etc. How could I judge cars I have never seen. For that matter, how could I judge the quality of cars I’d never even heard of before starting the project? How could I handle the fact that most of what I read did not match up with most of what I knew about US cars?

    I won’t bore you with details. After months of research, I found new sources of information. And then I began to find convictions about the larger patterns involved. Ironically, the car I first chose as the best car my former wife could buy became the car I ended up telling her to avoid!

    My work finally took shape as a tightly written 11 page document that made general points, then identified six cars I thought she should consider. I gave her the url of a used car dealership near her home that dealt in good used vehicles. She found a car she loved at that dealership and bought it. Then she shocked me by sending me a generous check to show her gratitude for that work–work that I had done as a favor and for the joy of it. That’s a happy ending 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I also outsourced research on my last car. I let the Young Adult do it. She had a great time, did a great job, and saved me a lot of headache.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Trailbaboon is a charming part of technology. Nuclear weapons as a part of technology is alarming. Especially considering the lunatic who controls the nuclear arsenal of the United States.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. have the headlines today given you reason to tense up a little
      my son said trump was reading frrm the page on opioidess and switched it up to verbally attack north korea.

      we need to do a mental analysis on he and north Korea leader. i wouldnt want to bet on who would end up 1 or 2 on the nut job rank

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m not sure what all the latest technology encompasses. I’m pretty sure there are technological advances that I know nothing about. My perspective is that of a woman who learned to type on a typewriter that wasn’t electric!, and who thought the IBM Selectric was a huge stride in improving office automation. Once I got into office management, we transitioned from reproducing audit reports on a Mimeograph to mass producing them on giant Xerox machines. I struggled through the first generation of text recognition software (scanners), and lived through the infancy of dedicated word processing equipment. The advent of a powerful laptop computer seems pretty magical to me, to say nothing of the smartphones and all they’re capable of.

    That said, my personal use of advanced technology is pretty much limited to my MacBook Air which has been used to the point that I have worn through several letters on the keyboard. Like others here I’m thrilled with the amount of information that is readily available on line, but am alarmed to think that there are individuals and organizations out there whose sole purpose is to concoct and spread falsehoods, hack into computer systems and generally create havoc. I’m also dismayed when I see people in public places such as check-out lanes in stores, restaurants, and theaters who are engaged with their smartphones rather than talking with their companions or being present to the people serving them.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I was somewhat surprised to get a set of coupons from Target that corresponded to items I had purchased there recently. Up to 25% discounts on specific food, clothing, household, and health care items. The first time I got one of these “Time for a Target Run” coupon flyers, I thought it was coincidental that so many of the items were ones I used. The second time, I noticed that it was truly “targeted” specifically to me. Some items were exactly what I had bought in the past and others said something like, “you might also like …” I don’t use a Target credit card either. I find that a bit big brother-ish. But it worked; I used some of the coupons.

    On the plus side, I really like that I never have to wonder about little things that cross my mind that I would not have taken the time to research before the Internet; like how old is so-and-so, or the guy in that commercial looks familiar, where have I seen him before. It’s also helpful when my mother has questions I can’t answer off the top of my head (probably works with inquisitive children as well), when I want to know what tomorrow’s weather forecast is, verify how to spell a word, or a hundred little, niggling questions that I don’t need to store anymore.

    I think it’s a terrible thing for kids to have access to so much of everything. A dad’s Playboy read in the back of a closet with a flashlight (I had brothers) is a Charlie Brown comic strip compared to what the kids can get ideas (and in trouble) from today.

    While it is a useful and entertaining tool, the Internet is wrought with dangerous pitfalls for all age groups. It’s wise to be careful and not gullible when venturing into its murky depths. (Insert scary organ music here.)

    Again, she descends from her soapbox.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Unlike some others here, I like facebook and I like my smartphone (although it’s getting old and slow). But charmed? The ability to access the public library day or night is right up there. I can put books or dvds on hold any time I think of it and, since I have an ereader, I can check out ebooks any time, any day. That’s pretty cool, IMO.

    The other thing I’m charmed by would be the photo software program I use for cataloging and editing: Lightroom, which of course I downloaded via the internet – sure beats inserting a disc and following instructions to download. This is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite and so I can always have an up-to-date version of the software. Also, I like working with a print lab online. Right now I’m working on ordering several greeting cards with my photos on them and once I make my decisions (that’s the hard part!) and get everything set up with their templates, it’s a few minutes online placing the order and I will get the package on my porch within 2 days. Pretty slick.

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  15. I generally like technology although charming isn’t a word I would normally use for it. However this is a timely piece because over the weekend I was kind of freaked out a little bit. On Friday I opened Google and I saw that it had a birthday decoration in the artwork so scrolled my mouse over it to see whose birthday it was and surprise surprise is it happy birthday Sherrilee. This kind of freaked me out the Google was putting enough resources into figuring out everybody’s birthday and then sending each of them individual messages on their computers. Then it kind of freaked me out that it probably isn’t that much of a resource for Google in the scheme of things. Then the rest of the weekend when I was traveling in Wisconsin every place I went my phone knew. Every picture I took the phone knew what the picture was. A park in Madison, a restaurant, the farmers market. It was kind of creepy. So I like knowing that my phone knows where it is because I like the GPS value of that but I don’t like my phone knowing where I am all the time because it’s creepy. I can’t win for losing in this battle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, every time I go grocery shopping lately, my phone invites me to “answer questions about Aldi” or Seward Co-op or Trader Joe’s or whatever. I don’t think it’s invited me to answer questions about the midtown farmers market yet, but I suppose it won’t be long before that happens. I think if I turn off something in the Location settings then it will stop but I never remember to do that.

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  16. Does anyone else remember very early on, back in the 90s, before the ads and the phishing… it was wonderful. I hate all the ads that make you wait (“long script running”) while you’re trying to navigate.

    As many have mentioned above, I am charmed by this blog, online access to the library services, and email – love how efficient that is for communicating, esp. with multiple people at once. I also love being able to find almost any song I ever heard, on YouTube.

    Disenchanted with so much else, but must run and get something off the stove before it burns.

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  17. Also appear to be losing the WordPress battle using my phone. Sorry for duplicate comments. Thought WordPress wasn’t supposed to do that.

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