The Annual Clean Out aka Backup and Control Your Data

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I have one of those jobs that naturally winds down towards the winter holidays and new year.  For some time now, I have taken advantage of this time at work to sort through files and clean out anything that probably should have been recycled before making it in a drawer.

Part of this clean-out includes sorting, organizing, and backing up the countless digital files on my computer.  Sure, we have an IT department that maintains a storage drive for our personal files, but that won’t help me if it fails one day and I am one of hundreds of employees begging to have some data restored.

This tradition is starting to bleed into my personal life as well.  I create a lot of digital files and store them in a lot of places, from web site hosts, and social networks, to document hosting sites.  I’ve also had a recent experience with cleaning and tying up someone else’s digital life.  The information you put out there is important, it might not be clear how now, but you, or someone you love, will probably need it sometime later.  If I safeguard myself at work from being one of hundreds should something go wrong, why wouldn’t I safeguard myself at home from being one of millions that a distant and faceless ‘IT’ may or may not be willing to deal with should something go wrong?

How would you do this?  Never thought to ask?  Well, Hotmail, if you have Microsoft Office on your computer, can be connected to Outlook and archived from there.  Google offers a select data to download option under ‘Data Tools’ in your account profile.  In Facebook, you can download a copy of your Facebook data under ‘General Settings.’ Tech Streak has a post about how to back up your Tumblr, though I have not tried it yet.  And, of course, you can download a full copy of any website you own with an ftp transfer client.  I like FileZilla.

And once you’ve got copies of everything, what do you do with it?  While storage drives are popular back-ups for home computing, what about something like LibraryBox?  Though created for more lofty purposes than home storage, LibraryBox would be a great way to get your data back-up off the grid, though still allow you to link into it via WiFi with any of your devices.

I’m not even going to mention privacy issues, but this is also the time of year when I close out customer and social networking accounts of places that I just don’t maintain anymore.   While I’m at it, I think I should spend some time removing my personal data from places all over the web because I want to consciously control what’s sold to me.

Schmidt House

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I was scoping out an online pallet generator and generally stewing over all the design recommends on picking colors for your whole house, so I made this.  My house has actually, and accidentally come together pretty well in my opinion.  Part inherited furniture (from family), part inherited room color (from the previous owner and/or original owner), and partially my natural leaning to red, green, and dark wood tones.

The only room not represented here is the music room; I don’t think it brings in too many more colors; it just has all of them in unbalanced abundance.

Gardening finds

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StJosephI found a small statue of St. Joseph in my front garden.  Other than a disem-housed toy chimney, it is the only garden discovery I have made that is not building materials.  Not immediately recognizing it, and being raised with more of the mezuzah tradition than that of the catholic saints, I had a strong inclination to put it back.  I decided to clean it up and research first.

What I found is that St. Joseph, in addition to being a patron saint for families, parents and working people, is also the patron saint for home buyers and sellers.  Burying a small figurine of St. Joseph upside down and facing the house will help your house to sell.  You should remember where you put him, so you can retrieve him once the selling is over and give him a good place in your new house (oops to the previous owners).  Since we are so happy to have found our house, we’ve given him a good place in ours.

The Catholic Supply Company has a few variations on the St. Joseph home selling kit, the one pictured is the figurine found in our garden.


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Novel idea for putting your home library to work:  BiblioFair | Book trading, exchanging and swapping made easier.

It’s interesting to me that this concept of home library exchange highlights the inadequacies of libraries to meet patron demand.  Before libraries existed in this country home library exchange would have been the only option to borrow something new, at least among those who could afford to have a book collection in the first place.  From the site:

Is the book you are looking for too expensive or always unavailable in your local library? Would you like to save both money and nature and rather buy a used one?

BiblioFair helps you find publications available for sale, donation or lending in home libraries located close to you!

I don’t know if this would work for me, since when I weed a book at home I want it out of the house quick, and the books I want to keep around…I’m not very good at sharing. I just hear my dad over and over again in my head: never lend something you actually want back.