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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Facebook free, three days and counting

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 20, 2010

First cup o' coffee

Well, I did it. I joined the Facebook protesters who are leaving in droves, peeved at the blatant disregard FB has for our privacy and security. It actually feels pretty good to be free!

I agonized over it for awhile, don’t get me wrong. It was rather convenient to have all my friends and family in one place, after all. But Zuck’s adolescent antics had done their work. The bad taste that was left in my mouth by this whole affair made gorgonzola cheese taste like nectar of the gods. I had been soured on Facebook but good.

Day one was a little tough. There was a mild sense of withdrawal and thinking “what have I done?” But day two and three were already much better. Instead of stalking my friends, I have been spending time on my own things – some of my projects, volunteer work, and even (gasp) relaxing with Tom. It’s actually been quite nice.

And I can still contact any of my friends any time I want to – just by other means. Some of us are playing around with alternatives, to get a feel for what’s out there, but the bottom line is that we want to take control of information that’s available about us in cyberspace.

I may have to enlist a friend’s help in finding out what, if any, of my profile still remains. Facebook makes it tremendously difficult to delete your account and says it won’t happen for 14 days (I’m rolling my eyes here). Until that time, people can still tag me in photos and see my previous posts. You can just bet Facebook does that hoping I’ll change my mind.

But I won’t.

If you need help finding the delete button, here’s an article on the subject.

Blog analytics

Posted by Dawn-Ann on September 14, 2009

It’s so interesting to analyze where my blog visitors are coming from and what they’re looking for. I recently had a look and here is how some people are finding my site:

  • Kirkpatrick family research (definitely the number one hit-maker!)
  • Facebook profile
  • Links from my email signature line
  • Searching for something I’ve written about, such as wee homes or urban homesteading
  • Some people have even started searching for me by name

One person has even stolen one of my pictures already. I’ve now hit the big time. I’m a real blogger!

Here is a cool map that Statcounter has generated for me showing all the places my readers come from. Welcome to each and every one of you!

Visitors as of September 12, 2009

Dion’s first impressions of Google’s Wave

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 25, 2009

Google’s new Wave, coming soon, has had me intrigued from the first time I saw the video. I plan to be one of the first in line to try it out and just can’t wait for the day.

So I was gratified to read Dion Hinchcliffe’s article on his first experiences with Wave. Although Dion is looking at the product from a business perspective (as an enterprise solution) and I am looking at it from a social perspective (to replace Facebook), he has some valuable insights to share.

Have a read. Bottom line – I’m even more excited than I was before!

Seven settles in

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 25, 2009

I bought myself a Roomba because, a) our vacuum got removed in the renos, b) I hate vacuuming, and c) I hate having a dirty floor and it doesn’t clean itself. Well, Seven is the next best thing.

I named her Seven after Star Trek’s 7 of 9 character because she has to dock to rest and replenish her energy levels. She buzzes around the house and I took some video footage with my other new toy – a little Flip video camera.

I’m really tickled with my first Youtube upload. It’s simple but it’s a start. Enjoy!

Wee homes leave a smaller footprint

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 24, 2009

Tiny homes have long intrigued me ever since my best friend Wendy and I planned to buy a camper and make like gypsies. We were very young, with dreams of travelling adventures and far horizons. Even now I think about downsizing sometimes just for simplicity’s sake.

So, naturally, I was excited to stumble over all these little, wee houses. Apparently with the economic downturn they are becoming a bit of a rage. They are affordable, often portable, and very cost effective – though I wonder how they’d fare in a cold Canadian winter.

Anyway, thought I’d share some of these links. Enjoy!

IC Green (get it?) creates living space from shipping containers.
The Jetson Green blog features some posts on green prefab homes. creates mini homes and travel trailers.
Habode homes have a sleek style. – a new children’s book review site

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 1, 2009

Teachers and parents alike will enjoy It’s just getting rolling but Kimberli, the site owner and reviewer, has already written several children’s book reviews. I find her writing style intelligent, yet endearing.

If you’re wondering what to get that special child in your life, you can’t go wrong with a book. Take a little time and browse some of these!

What if everything I believe is wrong?

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 30, 2009

It seems as though so much of my life has been brought to question lately. Enough that I’ve started evaluating every area of it for what is true and what is not – sometimes with surprising answers. So, what if? What if everything I’ve been believing is a lie?

It doesn’t matter about family history; it doesn’t matter about the future.

There is nothing after we die; we’re just worm food.

Blood is just blood; family ties are common and unimportant.

I am going to die young and poor and alone, having accomplished nothing of value with my life.

Watching TV and buying “stuff” are all that really matters.

I can’t help anyone; the world’s going to hell in a handbasket, with or without me.

I don’t need to be healthy; smoking and eating greasy foods is good for people.

Thank goodness I don’t REALLY believe those things and I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other for the time being. And eating fruits and veggies. And loving my family and its history. And eating out at Brewsters with my Honey.

Whew! I feel better already.

Elephant painting

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 25, 2009

I’ve been theorizing for a little while that animals are evolving intellectually (except for yappy little dogs, who have IQs of -3). Seriously, though. Doesn’t it seem that way to you? Or are we just more aware of some animals’ higher intelligence now, with the availability of the Internet?

Whatever it is, I’m always really amazed and tickled when I see something like this. This will blow you away.

Promises of spring

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 1, 2009

Although winters in Canada are characteristically long, here in Calgary we have milder ones than most other areas besides the left coast.  Still, it’s nice to see the first hints of spring appearing, even though we likely have several more weeks of cold.

This morning my heart was warmed by the sight of a flock of little sparrows playing and scavenging for food in the back yard. While it’s true sparrows don’t go anywhere in the winter, you rarely see them all flocked together like this in the dead of winter, so I was tickled.

Little sparrows on the back walk

Little sparrows on the back walk

Six rules for Internet dating

Posted by Dawn-Ann on January 4, 2009

I was talking to someone the other day about Internet relationships and how “safe” they are – or not. I think people were surprised to know that I have had a few such relationships that began online, the last of which has provided me with a dozen or so years of blissful couple-ness.

Relationships that begin online can work, and work well. In fact, when I look back on my past relationships, one in three serious ones that began online turned out successful and long term. On the other hand, zero percent of the loves I met in real life panned out. So there you go. Empirical evidence it ain’t, but I’m convinced.

I learned a few things as I went along and I’d like to pass along six rules for online dating. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has anything to add.

  1. Take it slow. In those first, heady days when you’re finding out what you have in common and writing loooong letters to each other, it is easy to think this is it! But give yourself lots of time.
  2. Read between the lines and trust your hunches. If you’re at all uncomfortable about something that was said (or not said) or done, pay attention. Try to discern what’s being left unsaid “between the lines.” Talk to someone you trust about your thoughts.
  3. The next stage should be telephone conversations – not meeting. You can tell a lot more about a person after hearing them speak, but the first call or two won’t tell you much. You need to learn the patterns and tones of their speech to be able to figure out if they’re being honest or not.
  4. Only after emailing and talking on the phone for a while should you meet. Make it a bright, public place that you go to, preferably bringing along someone you trust. If you can’t or don’t want to bring someone, work out a code with a friend so you can call them if you need help or need to escape.
  5. If all the first steps work out well, congratulations! But before you decide to get serious enough to move in together or get married, be sure to spend LOTS of real-life time together first. That’s where one of my relationships went hopelessly wrong. We didn’t spend enough 3-D time together and it turned out he was not what I thought he was, in spite of my being careful with the first four rules. Besides, you just don’t know if they’re kind to kittens and children or mean to their moms until you hang with them for a few months. Maybe he thinks it’s funny to make rude noises at the dinner table. Maybe she eats like a pig or picks her nose.
  6. Before you get married, do a background check. Call friends and old boy/girlfriends, if possible. Find out if she has a criminal record or if he is up to his eyeballs in debt. Truthfully, this rule is good advice for almost any relationship.

There you have it! Reasonable, yet progressive. Maybe someday you’ll be able to say you have shared a dozen or so years of blissful couple-ness with someone you met online!