Category Archives: Uncategorized

2017 Resolutions Update: Photo Organization

At the beginning of 2017, I outlined 3 New Year’s resolutions for myself. Resolution #1 was to keep a bullet journal. I ended up not staying with that format, but rather converting to a traditional planner and it has been great! I’ve been using my planner steadily since June. Resolution #3 was to send more physical cards this year to my family for birthdays, anniversaries and such. That flat out didn’t happen!

But, for Resolution #2 I have been much more successful, though slow going. My goal was to better organize my family photos. I haven’t finished, but I wanted to share my progress.

I now have all my pictures in one location in our apartment. They consist of three groupings.

a) photo albums I previously compiled. some of them are photo albums I put together during Kaleya’s first couple of years of life. Another is a collection of random family photos over a span of about 20 years.

my pre-existing albums


open album with dates and captions

b) binders I started this year.  This was my major goal – to organize my pictures in binders by year. I decided to do 3 groupings – Taneya’s Family (pictures of my side of the family and my childhood); Kalonji’s Family (pictures of his side of the family and his childhood), and Our Family (photos from the time I met Kalonji and of our nuclear family with our 5 kids).  Within each binder, I have dividers for decades (e.g., 1950s and earlier, 1960s-1970s, 1980s, 1990s). Within each year range, I have not tried to put the pictures in exact chronological order. The goal was just to get them in the right year span. Besides, there are many pictures for which I do not know the exact year. Once I get into the 2000s, I know my dividers will have to represent smaller year ranges because I tend to have increasing numbers of photos.

my new photo binders – grouped by family (my family, Kalonji’s family, and our joint nuclear family)
page excerpt – start of 1950s and earlier section

c) loose pictures. Yes, I still have loose pictures that I need to get into binders. But, I will continue to work on it!

loose pictures

So far, I am seeing great benefit from the organization. I can more easily find specific photos I am looking for as I know generally when the photo was taken. And, of course, I know which side of the family I should look, whether it be mine, Kalonji’s, or our nuclear family.

I have a few remaining considerations:

  • My earlier set of photo albums – do I deconstruct them and fit them into my new organization schema? I am not sure — I will hold off making a decision until I finish organizing all the loose pictures
  • I initially thought I would print out pictures from years which I wasn’t doing that. Do I want to really do that? That would make for a LOT of pictures! I’ve taken digital scrapbooking back up, so would I be best served by selectively scrapbooking events from these years? (namely 2006-2016). I am very close to finishing a 2017 Family Yearbook in a scrapbook format, so I already know I will not en masse print out pictures for 2017. I will be selective.
  • Once everything is organized, I’ll next consider how to properly store them in archival quality format. I’m on a mission to establish my own personal family archive and the materials I have them in now will not do long term. But, they will do for now.

I’ll continue my organization quest throughout the 2018 year. Having undergone this process for my physical photo collection, it has also impacted my genealogy digital organization. I’ll blog about that on my genealogy blog – stay tuned!


Am I A WordPress Addict?

image from

Oh boy – this is great! ManageWP posted a list of 34 ways you know that you’re a WordPress addict. I would say I qualify since I’m a hardcore WP evangelist and rock it as much as I can for my genealogy purposes. I’ve done webinars about it – with another talk coming up in October.  Here is their list, with the ones I can admit to bolded.    #17 in particular gets in my craw! (as Kalonji would say…)

  1. Your RSS feed has more WordPress blogs in it than any other.
  2. You have Chrome Sniffer installed just to see if websites you visit are running on WordPress.
  3. The last thing you check before you go to bed is your WordPress dashboard (complete with comments and analytics).
  4. The first thing you check in the morning is your WordPress dashboard (complete with comments and analytics).
  5. You’re subscribed to
  6. You stop looking for plugins to solve your problems and start developing them instead.
  7. You can’t code plugins to solve your problems so you pay someone to code them for you.
  8. You refuse to travel to locations without wi-fi.
  9. You find yourself contacting other webmasters just to find out what plugin they’re using for a particular function on their site.
  10. You pre-ordered a WordPress 10th Anniversary t-shirt.
  11. You have to contact us to get custom pricing for your WordPress website management needs.
  12. You’ve written diatribes about the WordPress WYSIWYG editor.
  13. You’ve reacted in horror when someone has told you that they use the WordPress theme editor.
  14. You know who Matt MullenwegMark JaquithVladimir Prevolac and Joost de Valk are.
  15. You cringe when someone spells WordPress with a lowercase “p”.
  16. You have had to get up in the middle of the night to write a blog post that was running through your head.
  17. You feel a rush of irritation when someone refers to a blog post as a “blog”.
  18. You’ve developed a ridiculously basic plugin despite your non-existent coding skills.
  19. You check out our Themes of the Month posts every single month even though you’re not looking for a new theme.
  20. You check out our Links Mashups posts even though you are subscribed to just about every WordPress blog on the planet.
  21. You spend hours choosing between two plugins when the difference between them will barely make a difference to the user experience.
  22. You chastise people for using fake WordPress logos.
  23. You’ve heard of ManageWPWordPress SEO by YoastAkismetDigg DiggEdit Flow andVaultPress.
  24. You consider the discovery of What the File one of the highlights of your year.
  25. You love a plugin that’s only been downloaded a handful of times and make it your job to promote it to the world.
  26. The word “jetpack” makes you think of a plugin rather than flight.
  27. You delete a plugin on principle because it creates an unnecessary top level link on your WordPress sidebar.
  28. You spend more time talking about WordPress than you do working with WordPress.
  29. You dream about meeting Matt Mullenweg.
  30. You act like an excitable schoolgirl when a popular plugin developer responds to your email.
  31. You travel to another country just to go to a WordCamp.
  32. You’ve never even considered using another Content Management System.
  33. You can create a child theme in fifteen seconds flat.
  34. You create a new blog just so you can work with a theme you like the look of.

Well, 18/34 — slightly over half of them.  Can’t say that qualifies me, but it sure sends me in that direction doesn’t it! LOL.  Awesome list indeed! Can I add one more?

#35 – You start teaching your kids WordPress so that they can help you manage all your sites.   Yep. Miles is learning it this year. 🙂

A Night of Education

Earlier this week, Kalonji and I attended an informative lecture at Vanderbilt’s Black Cultural Center. We’d only learned about it after my sister sent me the link, but we were so glad we were able to catch it! The lecture was given by Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  The Schomburg Center is the premier place of research of African-American life and Kalonji and I are quite hopeful that we get to visit one day.

Dr. Muhammad’s talk was titled “Partners in Crime: Statistics and The Logic of Post-racialism” and was educational and interesting. His discussion started with the 1890 census, so you know my genealogical ears perked right on up! There were so many aspects to his talk that I couldn’t begin to do him justice here, but he has a book published “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America” so we plan to pick that up so we can read more.

Generally speaking, Dr. Muhammad talked from a sociological-historical perspective on how statistics have been used to argue viewpoints on crime statistics of blacks and how it is important to look beyond the numbers in search of the background context. After the lecture, we had a chance to speak to Dr. Muhammad and even Jihad got a picture!

Now, despite having been at Vanderbilt for close to 12 years now, I’ve never been over to the Black Cultural Center. Guess there’s a first for everything. 🙂 It is a nice building and I enjoyed the current art displays – art was by Tamara Madden.

We had an overall great night! Thanks Dr. Muhammad for the talk. Oh, did I mention that he is also a great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad? Kalonji got the biggest kick out of that!

Virgin Mobile Social Media Fail

I debated whether I should make this my 1st post of the new year, but I have to get it out.

Once again I have been utterly disappointed in a major company’s communication failures via social media. I am a huge supporter of social media and how it can be used for communication; platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide instant ways to communicate yet it is so frustrating to see them underutilized.

Since our move in October our primary means of online access has been through Virgin Mobile’s pre-paid broadband access. I was looking for cheaper options for getting online and their $40/month unlimited 3g internet seemed worth trying out. Especially the MiFi device, which allows multiple computers to connect to the same wifi signal. The speeds/quality of the streaming videos we watch are not ideal, but tolerable, so overall it’s been okay.

Yesterday afternoon however, an outage began. After multiple attempts to call customer service I finally reached an agent who was able to confirm the outage. Yet, no idea of when it would be back online. I checked Twitter too and found people reporting outages.

28 hours later as I write this my service is back online, but in this time frame despite the fact that VirginMobile has at least two Twitter accounts (here, and here — one of which explicitly states is the customer service account) and a Facebook page, they were absolutely silent until about 1pm today. The Twitter customer support account did not respond to tweets nor provide any info despite this occurring during their stated support times. Very frustrating.

VirginMobile, you could at least let us know that you were listening.  If you couldn’t handle the volume of phone calls, you could have announced that on FB, Twitter, and your website earlier than you did. I hate to even think of customers who may have been purchasing devices during the outage – were they informed? You have so many options and ways to manage the incident via social media.

And to top it all off, I just received a tweet from customer service asking me which outage I was referring to in my tweet to them earlier today, when there is a notice on the Facebook page several hours old about the outage.  How unfortunate.