Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's back --- and so's the chill

Iris bloom south of the Stephens House on a chilly and damp Friday afternoon on the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus --- a bouquet for Jack Young, former LCHS president and long-time board member who died on Wednesday.

Google's Blogger, which powers this blog and countless others, has been restored to service now after an outage that lasted about 24 hours. So all of us who were frustrated this morning because our golden words couldn't flow freely into cyberspace can rest easy again.

The wound seems to have been self-inflicted by Blogger personnel when a routine maintenance procedure went awry. In order to restore the system, two day's worth of posts were removed across the system, but those have been restored, too.

There seemed to be a certain degree of hostility out there in the blog-o-sphere this morning, but for most of us it's a free service so there's really little to complain about. Paying customers --- well that's a different matter.

It is a little scary when you consider how easy it apparently was to bring down such a big network --- and how reliant all of us are these days on one Web network or another.


The chill's back in the air, too. You may remember that the high was 91 earlier in the week. Today's high was 54 damp and cloudy degrees. At least the sun shined long enough Thursday to allow the lower half of the back 40 to be mowed, so that's a relief.

With company last evening, the air conditioning was running full blast. Today, I was having idle thoughts about firing up the furnace again --- but didn't.


In the mighty-oak-has-fallen department, the sad news in Chariton this week was the unexpected death on Wednesday at age 85 of Jack Young, one of Chariton's most loyal and longest-term --- and most congenial --- boosters. He also served as president of the Lucas County Historical Society for 10 years and as board member for many more. Jack and his brother, Dick, grew up in a house just across the street from the museum and both were in business for many years on the square. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at Fielding's. And Chariton certainly is a lesser place without him.


Harvey Ross, state chair of Iowa's Stonewall Democrats (LGBT caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party), was here for a few hours last evening and we visited again this morning --- not so much about politics, mostly about genealogy.

His case is a fairly good example of the you-never-know-when-you're-going-to-turn-out-to-be-a-native-Iowan (sort of) phenomenon.

Although Harvey didn't move to Iowa until 1994, when a job transfer brought him to Cedar Rapids from his native southern Indiana, he discovered afterwards that some of his ancestors had beaten him to the punch --- arriving in southern Iowa during the 1850s.

He was able to find the grave of his grandmother (several generations removed), Nancy Hopkins, in the Russell Cemetery Thursday afternoon. And I left him this morning up to his ears in family information at the Lucas County Genealogical Society library.

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