Tip & Bits

by JL Beeken on 2-08-2008

My, how times flies when I’m working in my database.  I’m sure I’ve made every mistake imaginable when it comes to data entry and I’m still cleaning it up.

Tip #1 – Don’t bother learning how your software works until you’ve entered data for at least 5,000 people. That way you can spend the rest of your life fixing the mess you make.

Today I entered my 9,999th relative. Plus me equals 10,000. Robert Condelison, 2nd cousin, 4 times-removed, born 1866 in Illinois, call in to claim your prize.

The other day I found a 3rd cousin married to a 5th cousin. They were born in different places on the East Coast. One traveled across the country and then half way back before meeting and marrying the other one in Ohio. I love these twists and turns.

I only once ever imported someone’s gedcom. In my own defense, that was only after a month of moving data from box to box and spell-checking and cleaning up all the locations lists. I thought I was really careful with it. It was a long time ago and I’m still regretting it.

Tip #2 – Import lots and lots of gedcoms from anywhere you find them. The more the merrier. If you don’t have time to sort out the mess, your descendants might.

February Tip – If you live some distance north of the equator that’s considered North and Winter right now and you haven’t seen the sun in months, buy some full-spectrum light bulbs. They’re expensive, about $10 a piece, but tally that up against other health costs. I got mine up today, just in the nick. I was about to keel over. I don’t know exactly where the lack-of-light zone begins but if you’re feeling brain-dead most of the day, that could be a sign you’re in it.

Have you ever imagined what your photo-less ancestors looked like? I’m sure my 6th great-grandfather, Col. Loughead, was tall, dark-haired and very handsome. Who’s ever going to be able to dispute that? My 5th great-grandfather, Andrew Forsyth, was a little bit shorter, with sandy-colored hair and a square face. If I ever met him walking down the street I’d know him immediately.

Someone submitted my name as a possible presenter at the next Family History Conference at BYU in July. So, I went over to the Family History website and looked up the Conferences section. There’s a photo album there of the Conference Center. Big, big, big place, lots and lots of well-dressed people. I almost passed out.

I am completely impressed and honored by your good taste. Just let me bask in the moment. But please people, it’s just me, JL … in my pajamas … looking up census records. Writers and public-speakers are not always the same thing. Some writers are just weird little gnomes that live in caves. The reality is that I’m way too old and decrepit for long-distance travel. You couldn’t pay me to get on an airplane. Driving 1,400 miles in a week would outright kill me. I rarely go out in public even locally. Ten blocks to the grocery-store frays my nerves.

The only chance I’d ever get to Utah is if someone came over to my house, packed my bags for me and carried me there. Since I travel about as well as the average cat I’d have to be knocked out with a tranquilizer dart. I’d require round-the-clock care; regular feedings, naps and acupuncture to keep my endorphins up. I’d never make it through a 60-minute presentation because I’d be crying from sheer terror. No, I’m just going to sit right here under my 100-watt full-spectrum light bulb and wait for Spring.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jasia 2-08-2008 at 3:45 PM

When you’re right, you’re right, JL! Boy can I empathize with you on soooo many counts. I too have replaced several bulbs with daylight bulbs to try to ward off SAD. I can’t even remember the last time I saw the sun :-( And from the sounds of our local forecast I won’t see it anytime soon. :-((

I can really relate to your dislike of travel too. I’m a homebody. I won’t fly either, at least not for a leisure time activity. If one of my kids was in a hospital, maybe. But otherwise. Nope! Not me!

And then there’s the whole public speaking thing… I’ve been asked to give presentations at genealogy conferences too and have always politely declined. I’m fairly comfortable with small groups of 10 or less as long as I can address them sitting down. But anytime I have to stand up in front of a group my nerves are a mess. I’m much happier sharing my knowledge and expertise online.

There’s a cold front coming through in the next few days and we’re headed for single digit temperatures. Working on my tax return never sounded so good!

Waiting for the sun… and spring!

Cześć!

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