Friday, February 6, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday Part VI

1. My favorite historical name has always been John Lackland (who was also, I find out from Wikipedia, called "soft-sword." Poor guy can't get a break, can he?), out of a sort of perverse pleasure at the irony of people in power having derisive nicknames. He was easily surpassed, though, when the history book I was reading last night made passing reference to "Aristodemus the Effeminate." Ouch!

2. I have this idea for a website I want to create. It's got a pretty specific audience, but (I think) it would definitely be a good resource. I was brainstorming ideas this morning, though, and after the list of things I'd like it to include came a list of questions:

who hosts domains?
what does it mean to "go live"?
what's a webmaster?
would that be me?
how do you make a website interactive?
do I need permission to take information from existing websites? Is this fair use? (I want to compare certain programs at different universities, and the program descriptions would be on the website/brochures; can I quote these without explicit permission?)
what does a domain name cost?

I am so unqualified for this, but I've been thinking about it for a long time and would really like to go through with it.

3. We've been having a bit of a hot water problem at our apartment. The sinks work fine, and the apartment upstairs - with which we share a hot water heater - has no problems, so it's clearly not the heater. Over the past few weeks, the hot water in our shower, though, has lasted for about 2 or 3 minutes before going lukewarm, and another 2 or 3 minutes before becoming flat-out cold. You can wash your hair with warm water, or your body, but not both. Shaving your legs is completely out of the question. The landlord and a plumber are looking into it, but not with much success. I've been going several days without showers (this week I showered before church on Sunday, and then again before work on Wednesday), but I think I've finally hit the point where I'm going to start exercising again so I can shower at the gym. What it takes to make me work out!

4. On a related note, this Wednesday, after a year and a half of working in this building, I finally went looking for the gym, and found it. I didn't even use it, I just figured out where it was, but I nonetheless consider that one step closer to being in shape.

5. Genealogy has finally made me lose my senses. In my research, I've come across several online postings by a man talking about an ancestor of his, who I think is the brother of an ancestor of mine. These postings are all several years old, and the contact e-mails they include are out-dated. But I came across a family history website (also several years old) that he had made that listed a mailing address, and, spur of the moment, I wrote a letter to this complete stranger who is possibly my second cousin twice removed, printed out some relevant census records that I believe show his ancestor and my ancestor growing up together, enveloped them, stamped them, and mailed them. This morning I had a realization along the lines of "Dear Lord! What have I done? I'm a stalker! That was completely innappropriate!" I can't get that letter out of the mail, can I? I just have to hope and pray that what shows up at my door is a friendly letter of response brimming with relevant family history information, and not. . . the cops.

6. If you're interested in historical curiosities, the kind of thing you might not usually come across, here's an article I was sent, about the life of an unusual and legendary (at the time) freed slave in Washington:

7. Six weeks of this, and I'm still no better at coming up with 7 whole quick takes. It's been a long day (it's Thursday night as I write), and I give up.


  1. I always have a hard time thinking up a #7 each week. That seems to be the time when I sit in front of the computer and scratch my head.

  2. In regards to #5, I would imagine that anyone who takes the time to posts his genealogy results online would be pleased to find a relative. After all, the purpose of genealogy is to discover long-lost relatives, is it not?