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AOL’s Horrible Move – and the Loss of Leominster’s Best Genealogy Site

I have never liked AOL. I was a CompuServe person back in the day, so that’s me admitting my bias. However, they just screwed with everyone who was hosting a website on AOL but just shutting the damned service down on October 31st without any notice, or any way for the users to grab their files. This is the problem with creating a website and hosting it on a service where you don’t have control over the files in any way shape or form. (Disclosure: I use Blogger software for this website, but I host it on my own server space, and I have full access/ownership of all the files.)

There was a site hosted on AOL’s service (I think they called it “Hometown”) that was an unbelievable resource to Leominster, Leominster residents, descendants of Leominster residents, and anyone interested in genealogy. The site was Sue Gardner’s Genealogy Garden. Sue documented Leominster’s history, the people who lived here, and details about those families for years on that site. It was an invaluable resource. Sadly, Sue died several years ago, but the site was still alive, and people used it for researching their families, keeping Sue’s work and spirit alive. And now, AOL just shut the whole thing off, and there appears to be no way to get that work salvaged to be stored elsewhere. If I had known, I would have offered to help Sue’s family pull the content and I would have been happy to host it here on the Big DumpTruck. In fact, if they have a backup, or a way to access it, and they need a new home for it, I would be happy to not only host it here, but to pay for a domain name to point to it.

I don’t know who in her family would have the stuff, or if anyone ever goes out on the web looking up Leominster genealogy, but I will put the offer out there, as I’m personally very sad that all the information about my own family is now lost because AOL is run by a bunch of snot-nosed buttheads.

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Leominster on the Web (sort of)

I was over on iTunes looking at the free applications. I like to check at least once a week because there are so darned many new free apps being uploaded. I found one that will auto-generate your pirate, Jedi or stripper name. So that’s cool. And the sample screen made me smile because it had Johnny Appleseed on it. We all love us some Johnny Appleseed around here. And then I looked at the 2nd screen shot and it showed even more Johnny Appleseed details! I dropped a note to the guy who created the application to find out if he’s a local (or was at any time) because really, how often does ANYONE use Leominster on a sample form?

Screen shot at iTunes (no really, go ahead and look for yourself!)

[Update Sept 12: When I went in to use the application, I discovered that the above info is actually on screen as an example, so it’s not only on iTunes, it’s in the application. Very amusing to me, “Mad” Patch Ridingcrop aka Diamond Leatherhips aka Laf-Jo Rocfit.]

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I want my tax refund, can I have it?

We filed our taxes about a million years ago. Or maybe it was a week ago. Anyway, we are due for a refund and I would really like for them to pay me because I have some bills that aren’t going to pay themselves, doncha know! Plus Mr. Dump’s vehicle was making a $386 noise. When he took it to find out what the problem was and get an estimate…oops, we fixed it without calling you to tell you how much it was going to be. That’s so not cool. I won’t name the place because I really like them, and the work they do, but this was a big stinkball to have to pay it today.

Also, for those of you in the Leominster area, we popped in to the Blue Marlin for lunch. You have GOT TO SEE THIS PLACE! The decor is beyond excellent. I’m not even going to spoil it for you, but you have to go. I know, it looks ultra swanky from the outside, but the menu is definitely not. Heck, I could have gotten a hot dog for lunch. Or dinner (because the menu is the same). Go go go and then come back and tell me what you think of the place. (p.s. I can highly recommend the clam strips.) Everything is freshly prepared on-site except for some of the desserts, which they get from Auntie Ellen’s Creative Confections next door. Oh, by the way, we popped in there to check it out. Take your wallet and GO. We took the triple chocolate mouse and the bananas foster cheesecake home with us, and we couldn’t decide which was better.

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Inside Jody’s Brain: Part 14

I have to work today. I have to work Monday as well, but that is not the point of this point. This is the point of this post.

There are songs that immediately put me in a different place and time. Like brings back smells sounds, everything. I’m listening to my iPod on shuffle and the song The Ballroom Blitz by Sweet comes on. Suddenly, I am at Mason’s Bowling alley on a Saturday morning (I was on a bowling team – the Pink Panthers. I have no idea why I can remember the name of my bowling team all these years later, but there you go). There are whole bunch of songs that were on the jukebox at Masons for years – I assume the owner just stopped buying new 45s at some point – because in junior high I was on another bowling team (after school league) and a bunch of those songs were still on there.

But Ballroom Blitz is the one song from that bunch (Telephone Line by ELO was another one) that when I hear it I’m back at Masons. (There are a couple of songs that bring me back to the Mason’s mini golf. I think I spent too much time there one summer, but my best friend lived around the corner and it wasn’t that bad a walk from my house, so it’s not all that surprising.

So anyway, Ballroom Blitz came on and I was just back in that bowling alley in a split second. Candlepin, for you out-of-towners. I think I need to go bowling now.

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