Thursday, February 25, 2010

Springtime (I can dream, can't I?)

Who misplaced my global warming? I'm serious, this is getting to be a big problem. I don't know just how the legislation they've been working on got enacted so quickly, but ever since the Democrats have been in power in Washington (or maybe even before) there has been a serious reversal of this global warming phenomenon. So serious in fact, that we're not allowed to call it that anymore. It sounds so ridiculously laughable to a nation wrapped in snow which has seen an avalanche of records broken this winter, that they've decided to call it something new: Climate Change. Well, they still mean the same thing, it just doesn't make them look quite as silly as when they call it "warming". If you all feel about like I do, you'd gladly go out and start your car and let it run all night long to increase CO2 globally and produce warming. If only it would work. That's the other problem they have, it just doesn't work.

I didn't start this post to take jabs at the uncomfortably chilled, red faced proponents of the global warming- er, climate change myth. I was merely going to remark on the fact that for the end of February, it seems unseasonably brisk out. For my region anyway, the -2 temperature the other morning seemed a little unreasonable. But we can't control the weather. Much as some of us would like to. (snicker)

Oh well. I don't mean to be uncharitable, I just enjoy a good joke as I'm sure most of you do.

What have we been up to lately? Last weekend was the Seward Home show. This was our first time going to the show as Country Truss, LLC. Here's a picture of our booth. It was enjoyable, although I don't know how profitable. I guess that remains to be seen.

If Spring won't come, we're going to try forcing the issue. Jenny planted Tomato seeds, Peppers of some kind, and a few other vegetables (not to mention flowers) in the past week or so, and we're just hoping that the mountains of snow outside subside in time for us to put these plants out before fall.

Right now our garden has enough snow on it that the dogs run over the fence in back of it (which is only four or five feet high, the big drifts are over the horses fence) and I seriously am considering search and rescue for my garlic and strawberry plants, lest they give up and move to Florida.

As you can see, we have a regular little greenhouse inside our regular little white house, and unless it starts warming up outside soon I'm a little worried that these plants will expand until we won't have enough room to give them all a little sunlight. We're a little challenged to find windows that let sunlight in, and these lamps aren't going to cut it when the plants get bigger. I hope to be able to put the plants in the porch, which will give them plenty of morning sun, but it simply gets too cold in there to do that anytime soon. I don't care to leave the inside door open to heat the porch at zero temps even if my heat does come from a wood stove.

That's about the scoop on what all we've got going on. We're just hanging on and hoping we can hold out until Spring rolls in to town. Until then, (or maybe sooner, you never can tell when the urge will strike to write) I'm off to throw another log on the fire.


P.S. Three Cheers! My wife saw a flock of Robins today! The worm digging business seems like it would still be a little slow, but here's hoping they don't mind waiting a month or two for their dinner!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google must have been listening

I guess they heard us.

Google has been so kind as to now give us all the option of totally disabling and deleting Buzz from our accounts. The little "turn Buzz off" link doesn't actually delete it, it just makes so you can't see it. To delete Buzz totally, here's what you do. First of all, you need to get into your Google profile. You can do this through Buzz (which is how I did it). If you have Buzz turned off, just turn it back on, and then click the Buzz icon. When it opens, click "Edit" (it's right after your name) to edit your profile. Scroll down to the bottom and you will find the nice little option that Google just provided us, which allows you to disable Buzz and remove it from your account. To quote Google "This will disable Google Buzz integration in Gmail and delete your Google profile and Buzz posts. It will also disconnect any connected sites and unfollow you from anyone you are following." Handy, huh? If you don't use Buzz I recommend doing this, (rather than just turning it off) as it will totally disable it, instead of just not allowing you to see it.

Of course maybe you all like Buzz and want to keep it. If you do, fine, but so far all it's done for me is to allow me to see everyones status that they post all day long, which frankly isn't all that interesting.

Well, I just thought I'd say something about this for those who might not find out about being able to delete Buzz.


A P.S. here. On my own account, it didn't actually get rid of the Buzz icon, it just deleted my profile and my followers. I still have to click the "Turn buzz off" thing to make so I don't see it. Oh, and an easier way to do the whole "delete Buzz etc..." is to just turn it back on (if you've turned it off) and then hit the "turn off Buzz" at which point you will see the option to permanently disable it. (Well, permanently as in until you click the icon to turn it back on)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our First Anniversary

Roses from Gabe
We celebrated our anniversary, by going out to eat at "Chances R", which is a lovely restaurant in York. It was very nice :) The day of our anniversary dawned windy and snowy, so we spent a quiet day at home, since church was canceled. We did go down to Mom and Dad Burkey's later on in the afternoon for a little while. I borrowed a couple stacks of books from mom, and we spent the rest of the evening reading. I would say it was a wonderful way to spend an anniversary.
The last year has gone by so fast! It just doesn't seem like a year ago that we were saying our "I do's " :) It has been a good year... and we are so thankful that God has blessed us with this time together so far, and we look forward to many more years together!
The last year has brought many changes to my life. Nebraska is definitely different than Wisconsin! But I've learned to love it here too, and have found that Nebraska does know how to have winter after all! I guess the landscape isn't really the most important change I've had in my life. Getting to know a new church and making friends here, has had challenges all of it's own. I am happy to say that I have learned to know people so much better, and I really appreciate our church here. And then, of course, it is so nice having Gabe's parents and family all nearby, so that we are not lacking in family either!
Of course the biggest, most important change that has happened in our lives, is one that is still in progress, you might say :) We are looking forward very much to our baby's arrival. I am becoming more impatient, since I have begun to feel most elephantine. I think wistfully of the days when I could bend over to tie my shoes. We have the cradle all set up, and I was showered with many lovely gifts by the church ladies last Monday evening, so now all we need is the baby!
I hope you all have a lovely week, and I will post again someday, but not too often, since that wouldn't be in keeping with my record so far. I have to wait until something dramatic happens. JMB

Friday, February 12, 2010

What's the Buzz about?

Since it's been awhile since I posted, and since I finally have something to discuss that interests me, perhaps I'll do so.

I haven't ever managed to get as many comments as the time I posted my largely negative view of Facebook, and perhaps this will be received about the same way, but here goes.

This Buzz thing. Hmmm. One day you sign into your Gmail account (if you happen to use it you know what I mean, if you use another server this doesn't apply to you), and what do you know but it tells you that you are now a part of "Buzz"! That's fine and dandy you think to yourself, wondering just what in the world "Buzz" happens to be.

I guess you all know what it is by now, if you're a gmail user. Basically (my perspective here) it's a rip off of Facebook's basic gossip site idea. Don't get me wrong anyone (I love Facebook:), it's probably going to be popular for Google, but I do have a few problems with it.

In the first place, it seems to me that Google could allow users to decide for themselves if they want such a thing, rather than arbitrarily forcing it on them, thus making them have to figure out how to get rid of it if they don't want it. After all, if I want to spend my free moments sending little personal blurbs about my life to the whole world I can find plenty of social networking sites to do it on, why force it into my e-mail? There is a little "turn off Buzz" link on the homepage, if you get your microscope out you will find it. Fine. I can live with that.

Next problem. Like Facebook, it assumes that I want to "follow" a whole bunch of people. Now if I wanted this in the first place that would be great, but could I have the option to okay this? I guess not, I'm automatically following them. Oh, and by the way, it will just go ahead and allow anyone who happens to stumble onto my account to see my full name, e-mail, and other google related sites by default! I'd be okay with those being the default settings if default settings were the first thing you saw the first time it announced itself, but it just isn't that way. Unfortunately you have to figure out how to edit your account to even know that's how it set you up!

Unlike Facebook (I'm comparing Facebook favorably to Buzz, wow!) it doesn't allow you to decide if you want someone to be your "friend" (i.e. follower), it just allows them to follow you. Of course, if you don't want someone to follow you (sounds like stalking, doesn't it?) you can block them. So by browsing from one friends friends to another, you could quickly follow a lot of people you may or may not know.

As I understand it, Google (Like Facebook, by the way) pretty much never destroys pictures or other media you post (not to mention text) even if you delete your account. It's still theirs. Of course, if this is a big concern to you then don't ever post anything online or use e-mail. It's all digital and very archive able.

So let's put this together and see what we've got now. By default it will display my name and e-mail (Facebook doesn't even let others see your e-mail address). In theory, over a very short period of time it can grow to such an extent that total strangers are able to not only read whatever I post but can access personal information about me as well. I would guess that it's very few of us who are so careful about the things we say online that we couldn't be physically located by someone who wished to do so. Unless you're looking daily at your "followers" to see if there are any names you don't recognize and block them, you could have anyone following you. On top of that, there's not much of a guarantee that Google itself is not archiving everything we write for its own data purposes, and its a cinch that any pictures or other media posted can be archived indefinitely as well. This is the giant search engine after all. Fine, so you or I can handle all this because we understand the risks.....

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I don't think. But do you see where I'm going? If you parents with children who use the internet aren't sitting up and taking note of what Facebook and other sites like Buzz, Twitter, MySpace, etc offer and aren't monitoring very closely what's going on, I frankly question your good judgement. If you've never heard the term internet predator, do some research and find out for yourself just how much information about a given person one can find using only the tool of "social networking". Again, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but please do your homework!

That all said, I think I'll leave the Buzz icon there for now. I enjoy seeing what other folks are up to (my theory being that if they want to share, I'll read it if it interests me at all). But if I have something of any importance whatever to say (and if I didn't I could always use Faceb- er, okayI'll lay off), I'll stick to chat or e-mail. Or maybe even something as outdated and impractical as a phone call. How quaint.