Random 5 for January 12 – Security, flu, obits, research, weather

Security – I logged into my on-line tax software program. They have upgraded their security. It took me a while to get in. They asked questions that are hard to answer like the maiden name of my neanderthal grandmother from the BC era. Or the name of her first pet dinosaur. Or maybe it was a unicorn. Super great granny was one of a kind! I’m hoping that it gets faster. Maybe I should be grateful except every time security gets upgraded, so does hacking skills.

Flu or no flu – This is a bad winter for flu. There have been many deaths and it’s early. The winter is mild but then again, I don’t know what makes a bad flu season. I have a friend who calls everything the flu. The real flu isn’t sniffles or not feeling good for a day or two. The real one is debilitating. Down for the count. You can’t do anything debilitating. The kind where you put the undertaker on speed dial. My grandfather died from it and my dad had a heart attack right afterward (when he wasn’t fully recovered). You can go on-line to see the difference between the two. Don’t mistake them.

Speaking of death – I’ve lost two relatives in the past month. One was younger than me and the other was older. I wasn’t close to either one but it was still sad. The obituaries were a treasure chest full of family details that I didn’t remember and that sent me back down the rabbit hole into ancestry research. I was giddy (queue wicked witch rubbing her hands and cackling). I feel some guilt in the pleasure I get from obits. Seriously, I need a life!

As I was doing this — I received an email from a man who lives in the town in Europe where my grandmother came from. Out of the freaking blue! We are both members of an on-line group that’s researching the same area. He is doing a project on the people from the town who emigrated. I will be booked for the next few weeks seeking information and comparing pictures of old people I don’t know. Good thing I have my fitness watch to make me get up and walk.

Happy spring! – That’s what my neighbor said to me yesterday when the temperature was hovering in the mid-60s. That’s very uncharacteristic for our area. Usually a warm day won’t pop up until the end of February. Not complaining. I could go directly to spring! Happy dance anyone?

So how was your week?

66 thoughts on “Random 5 for January 12 – Security, flu, obits, research, weather

  1. Neanderthal is hilarious, Kate. You are totally right on what the true flu is. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we have very young grandchildren who share their germs with us. We may need to charge them the Undertaker fees. Good luck on figuring out the ancestors thing. You may need to know the name of their pet dinosaur.

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    • We rarely come in contact with young children. The grands are across country and teens and everyone on my side is an adult (or supposed to be). However, my older brother, who is a regular church goer, picks up things. He usually gets one bad case of bronchitis that lasts all winter.

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  2. I need to pick up my genealogy again, but I’m afraid to, as it’s too addicting. Back in 2003 when I was between jobs, I spend a whole summer on it until I started running into dead ends. One day, I wasted a gorgeous fall afternoon in a library going through microfilms for the cause of death of some relative dead a century ago, so I stopped cold turkey. This was in the days before Ancestry.com and everything online. So now I’m afraid to pick it up again. PS. My big beef is with store cashiers who come to work sick. Their managers should be sending them home. I’ve been known to change lanes in a store if I see the cashier is sick.

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  3. Sounds like you have some great progress going on your family history research! Hope there is good information from communicating with the guy in Europe 🙂 I agree with people running around making everyone else sick when they know they are ill.

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  4. That is so cool a long distance relative contacted you – his project sounds like a treasure trove of information. (stuff about ordinary people is the real history and so fascinating)
    We’re at peak levels of flu here – as bad a 10 years ago. They are watching to see if this trend peaks or keeps going up – and the CDC says of course many people don’t go to docs, so we know there are more cases than the ones reported.
    Even worse it the RSV virus going around (which they can do nothing for – unless you get fever or go into bronchitis/pneumonia) It’s higher than flu cases. Right now they are telling people “flu comes on really fast with fever and RSV slowly takes you down with cough, sore throat, congestion . Seems like if it’s not one thing, it’s another…who/what is tired of us and trying o get rid of the humnan species? HA HA (I am outliving RSV…given to me from an inlaw at Christmas who knew she was sick with it, but didn’t;t want to miss the fun…bet all those people on the plane with her were delighted a few days after their flight?)

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    • I get annoyed with sick people who go out in public, especially on a plane. That is the ultimate of selfish. If we’re not careful the black plague will come back. At least that is fatal fast. No one will take a plane with that one! I’ve only recently heard about RSV and it seems to be hitting kids more. Being retired keeps me out of the big crowds. I’m super cautious at the gym too. My hands are so washed I need to medicate them!

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  5. Agreed about the security. I now record not just the UN and PW but the Q&A for the security questions. Crazy! I am setting up 2-Step Authentication for my big accounts and then I started to worry–what if I lost my phone? Haven’t solved that one yet.

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  6. Passwords… PIA. We have two sets, one for frequently used and the other for passwords for stuff we don’t even remember what some of them were. Total of five pages single spaced. Ridiculous is what it is. We have friends here whose son is a manager of a large corporation’s servers and specializes in security. He suggested to us at Christmas to use LastPass so we have been reading about it. I got my flu shot back in October and hope it does its thing. I get one every year. The flu is making an impact in our area now. Little Sasha greeted me this morning on your random headers 🙂

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    • Today we are getting our shingles vaccine. It has been unavailable in our area for over a year. LastPass? I’ll have to check it out! My computer remembers most of them although not the banking ones. I think that’s through Google Chrome.

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  7. It is weirdly mild this winter. It seemed like it was going to be a bad on at first because we had the super early cold snap. But then it just snapped back and I don’t think we’ve had an inch of snow yet.
    I always think mild winters make the flu epidemic worse. But I have no real data for that. I haven’t had my shot this year. I’m supposed to get it next week. I feel like I’m playing Russian Roulette.

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    • The theory and maybe it’s an old one, is that the flu is worse in cold weather because everyone is indoors and it spreads faster. Looking at the “flu map” it’s been worse in some of the southern states. I don’t know how it works.

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  8. We’re expecting snow and cold weather next week. Everybody is freaking out.

    I have a whole address book for my passwords, and it’s getting full. Those answers that we’re supposed to know, that we DID know a few years ago when we chose the question about the great aunt’s husband or the favorite teacher or the street where you lived when you started kindergarten, what if we forget the answer?

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    • I started writing down the answers to the questions. I found that I was inconsistent. If it asked for the name of my childhood best friend sometimes I used her first name and sometimes her whole name. Now I track those too. Fortunately most of those are for financial sites. Maybe we’ll go to fingerprint recognition.

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  9. You definitely made me smile with “happy spring,” and although our climate is mild, I still am not a fan of winter! I’m also sorry for the loss of your two family members. I think as we age it’s a different kind of “blow” that makes us stop and consider where we are in life. Not my favorite kind of introspection! Necessary, but I’m not a fan. 😦

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    • I was working on my research this weekend and found another cousin that passed. He had moved to California many years ago and lost touch with his family. He was my age. I keep copies of the obits because I don’t remember everything. That file is getting thicker.

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  10. When you have the flu, you know it… it comes on you like a locomotive: fast and crushing. Fortunately, I have managed to avoid one for many years. I always get my flu shot and encourage everyone else to get one also. If they say “I don’t need one, I never get sick” I remind them that getting vaccinated is as much for others (especially those how can’t get the vaccine) as for themselves.

    Enjoy your spring weather!

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  11. Oh, I hate those security questions too. Who makes them up? Sorry for your family loss – I enjoy reading obituaries to…for their literary qualities, of course. We are having a mild January too and I would do the happy dance for any early spring. Sometimes we skip spring and to directly to summer.

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  12. This weather is so wonderful, I am actually in a good mood! Still sad…but in a good mood sad! (Is there such a thing) It has done wonders for my house…the garage is cleaned…the cabinet (s) in the kitchen cleaned out….the laundry…done and finally the Christmas decorations, PUT AWAY! Ah, thank you climate change! 😊

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  13. Fellow blogger Laurie who lives in your state reported 60 degrees last night – we went down 30 degrees during the day and had 2.5 inches of rain which turned into freezing rain – ugh. No loss of power so I am extremely grateful for that … no walks for a while as we get more freezing rain tonight. I heard of four deaths last weekend – that shook me to the core as two of them were age 64. I will turn 64 in April and they were fatal heart attacks (heart disease runs in my family – my grandmother and all of her 8 siblings died of heart disease). The other two were an elderly neighbor (96) way down the street and I only knew that because the house went up for sale Saturday. So, how awful is this … I Googled “obituary notice for Dorothy Ferguson” – I couldn’t see the realtor sign from my house and didn’t recognize the logo and wanted to know if they mentioned her passing. They were one of the first people to buy a house on this block – her husband died about four years ago. In the obituary notice, I saw she died in October and her daughter, a playmate of mine back in 1966, had died in July 2019. Gulp. Meanwhile, I also discovered the guy around the corner from me died in October and I saw there was an estate sale in November – his wife died in her fourth, nearly fifth year of dementia in April last year and I thought maybe he was getting rid of some of Debbie’s things, as he told me he intended to stay there when he called me to the fence to say she had died after going into hospice when she could no longer swallow – she was the same age as John (and me) … he had a fatal heart attack and the kids don’t live around here, so had an estate sale and put the house up for sale – it sold in two days. I felt a little numb last weekend and I have to tell you that a client and fellow walker are each battling strokes and cancer (double whammy) and are both my age. I started on the exercise bike this past week as the weather prevented a walk.

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    • That’s a lot of deaths too. There were a lot in the newspaper but most were over 80. Somewhere I read that there are more deaths after the holidays (Jan-Feb) than at any other time. In our family people die between January and March.

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      • Yes, I was upset hearing about them – and heard of so many serious illnesses in 2019, that I was glad to leave that year behind. My grandmother and mom died two days apart, January 29th and January 31st but 24 years apart.

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  14. Yes! I have a similar peeve about people claiming to have the flu – I know someone who claims to be down with the flu multiple times per year. Seriously? As a normally robust person who’s had the actual flu, I can attest it will knock you flat for at least 10 days, after which you are weak as a kitten for several more. It is not something you can shake off after a day or two. Hmmmph!

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