Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Ruminations

I saw these very cool power-dudes at Greta's Genealogy Bog and fell madly in love. They're available from Amazon, so I've added them to Ye Olde Genealogy Shoppe.

I'm enjoying Dr. Daniel Hubbard's blog, Personal Past Meditations, which was new to me this month (although celebrating its first blogoversary on August 1). It's the perfect place to take a break from what you're thinking and see what someone else is thinking, because Daniel is an excellent thinker.

Speaking of thinking, July Ruminations doesn't look like a very good place to find much of that going on! It's been too hot, muggy, and stormy to think of anything besides how hot, muggy, and stormy it is. I'm not a fan of Michigan weather, and this summer seems worse than any I can recall.

Nevertheless, I've been juggling several Blurb book projects all month. The ones getting all the attention right now are those which don't require thinking, i.e., old (non-genealogy) blogs which just need to be slurped and edited. I finished and ordered my second book; the third is done except for the jacket flaps (thinking required!); the fourth is a bit less than half finished; and the fifth has been slurped and a few posts edited.

Because I'm actually posting this a couple days late, I've been giving some thought to something that happened "in the future" so to speak, on August 2. One of my Facebook friends had her account hacked. The hacker, pretending to be her, contacted me via Facebook's "chat" feature. The conversation started with a simple "hi... how are you?" In many instances this would seem normal enough, but I was immediately puzzled. I have never met this Fb friend, I know her only through the GeneaBloggers group, and can't recall ever having had anything like a conversation with her. After trying to figure out whether I'd commented on her blog or something, I decided to respond in an equally harmless manner... I replied with a complaint about the weather and asked if hers was equally muggy. "Not good here... in some kind of mess," she answered. "The weather? or you?" I asked. "I'm stranded in London, United Kingdom... was mugged and robbed at gun point last night."

Yeah, I'm sure the first thing I would do after being mugged and robbed at gunpoint in a foreign country would be to instant-message a virtual stranger for idle chit-chat. Another line or two and there it was: "I need your help."

We all want to believe everyone is honest, but hey, I was not born yesterday. I advised calling to report the credit cards stolen, and then closed my browser and called it a night.

This morning (actually August 3), I checked her profile. She had already posted a status update saying that her account had been hacked, that she wasn't in London and had not been mugged. Other GeneaBloggers reported that they, too, had been instant-messaged by the hacker with the same bogus story. Many had already heard about a similar hacker scam recently. I hadn't, so my own suspicion was that this particular Facebook account had been set up by a scammer right from the start to target members of this community. That I was wrong on that particular point doesn't comfort me much though. In an open group as large as GeneaBloggers has become, there certainly is plenty of opportunity for clever scammers. Fortunately, GeneaBloggers is also a very interactive group, and awareness of last night's scam attempt was shared very quickly among group members.

In any case, I've been reconsidering the way I use Facebook, and will be reducing my Friends list in the coming days to family members and friends with whom I interact on a regular basis. Fellow GeneaBloggers, please don't take it personally if you find yourself unFriended! I look forward to reading your blogs, participating with you in GeneaBloggers activities, blog carnivals, etc. Honestly, I'm betting you won't even miss me, as I'm not much of a Facebooker anyway!


July Accomplishments

I bought the car wax.

And in the other column . . .

I did not apply the car wax to the car.


Greta Koehl said...

Oh, T.K., I am so glad you liked the little "power-dudes"! They are so cute, I have been putting off taking them out of their packaging - sort of like special dolls you don't want to spoil. But I have to put them to work soon - my desktop is a mess. And the muggy/stormy weather here has also slowed down everything here.

Alana said...

Hi T.K. Rest assured, I'm not taking it personally that I was unfriended. I assumed it was because of the hacker. My account, though is a legitimate account and I have since changed my password. I'm usually very careful about things that I accept, don't click on links that I'm not 100% sure about, etc. I really don't know how this happened. I don't post very often due to time constraints, but I do enjoy reading what is happening with others.

We have had a little contact via your blog a couple of months back when you wrote about the Wilders (I mentioned that I had been to Almonzo's house in Malone, NY.

In any case, I fully understand your position with regards to FB. Will "see" you in the geneablogger world (maybe one day we will meet for real).


T.K. said...

Greta, I'm thinkin' I could use an Electric Man in every room of my house! ;-)

Alana... oh yeah! I remember that conversation! Duh! Anyhow, I'm glad you're not taking it personally about being unFriended, and I hope the approximately 100 other geneabloggers I unFriended last night won't take it personally either. One of the more disturbing things about this hacker incident, to me anyway, is not knowing how it happened. My strategy for coping with it is to just reduce my exposure. My habit has been to keep Facebook open in a browser tab all the time, but I don't actually look at it much so I don't always know what's going on there. One of my concerns is that if my account were hacked, I might not know about it for days. I'd be upset, as I'm sure you are, about my FB Friends being preyed upon by some idiot using my name. So I decided to limit my Friends list to people who know me well enough to phone or email me in the event of anything suspicious. My next task is to remove myself from groups that I'm not active in, and then recheck my privacy settings, which I think are already on the very cautious side, although in truth I am never really sure who can see what. That sounds a little paranoid, I'm sure, but it's said that people never do anything for just one reason, and that's true in this case. I was already feeling overwhelmed by Facebook. Bombarded with too much information! Sometimes it's fun but also a distraction that keeps me from getting my own things done.

In any case, I'm not dropping GeneaBloggers group or Networked Blogs, so will definitely see you in the blogosphere!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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