Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is Privacy Gone With The Wind?

Yesterday I posted about Google Alerts being a second Big Brother and I received some comments telling me about Google Maps (which lead people straight to your door with color maps) and Zapasearch, etc. One aspiring author mentioned she and her hubby had just discussed this issue and how she should handle it. Personally, I took a pseudonym that is nothing similar to my real name. Below I'll go into deeper discussion about the pros and cons of using a pseudonym. Secondly, I would advise renting a PO Box so that you do not give out the address of your private residence. If you send out a newsletter, you must provide an address or you can land in legal trouble if someone has a beef with your emails (or snail mail) and it's not supplied. With anything in life, there are pros and cons. While having a pseudonym helps me, I now realize that there are many other people who already have the name I adopted. I had googled it before selecting it and hadn't found anyone then, and obviously no one who was famous with the name "Ashley Ladd". Today, however, using a Zapasearch I found a page full of Ashley Ladds. I certainly don't mean to cause anyone else problems. However, I've come to the conclusion it's impossible to choose a name that is unique. I came to this conclusion at the day job many years ago. We have a database of more than 4 million names. Many people call and only give their name, certain we can identify them with such scanty information. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that is not the case. Why? Because even names that sound obscure usually have two or more people who share it. And that's in our data base alone. Usually I find page fulls of the same name when I do a name search. Years ago, when I was a much newer employee and user of this data base, I made the mistake of assuming the person who wrote a letter (and demanding a reply) was the same person I found in our data base, because the name seemed so obscure. A week later, I received an extremely nasty reply back that my letter's recipient wasn't the same person and to delete her name from our records as I had been so lax with the other person's data. Oops! I wasn't trying to be. Ever since, I've erred in the other direction. Of course, now we get nasty letters and phone that we've not responded to people. Thus for Google purposes, perhaps the news isn't as black as I painted it yesterday. Just because someone googles your name, they can't be sure they've located the right person. On the other hand, remember Terminator 1? When the Terminator merely went down the list of Sarah Connors in the phone book, killing every one so he could be sure he got the right one? <> Extreme case scenario, I know. I tend to worry. Blame it on my German roots. My dad's mother was a worry wort, too. Something else that worried me when I read it yesterday in a couple places was news of a global food shortage? One blog is talking about growing their own food. Not a bad idea ever. Fresh is good. Being prepared is good. My church preaches food storage and I used to be big into it, especially right before Y2K. So I've been googling articles this weekend about the rice and grain shortage, about how Costco and Sam's club are limiting the amount of rice they will sell. It doesn't sound quite as dire (for Americans and 1st world countries) as I first thought, but then I'm not an expert and plan to do more research later. In case that sounded cavalier, believe me, I'm very concerned for all the world's people. Whereas this will definitely hit my pocket book and with 6 mouths to feed in my household (13 if you count 2 dogs and 5 cats also), it won't be easy. However, I work for a charity that serves the poorest of the poor in the Caribbean and Latin America, which includes Haiti where food riots are going on as we speak. I receive concerned, and even accusing, letters daily claiming we (my charity) are not getting food into Haiti because of news articles other agencies published that food isn't getting into Haiti in general. I've been assured that my agency IS getting food into Haiti and getting it out to the people. Unfortunately, our agency alone cannot solve the entire problem, much as we'd love to do so and hard as we're trying. In Haiti alone, there are more than 7 billion destitute poor. I don't mean merely a little low on money so they can't go to the movies this week or even pay their electric bill. Most of these people live in shacks made of cardboard or rotted wood and rusty tin they scavanged from the local dump. They also subsist on the dumps for food and clothing and toys. Sometimes they don't eat even one small meal a day and count themselves lucky if they have just one small meal. This is pretty unimaginable in my house and my state. We may not always like what's in the pantry, but we won't starve. My kids complain there's "no food" when the pantries (2 of them in my house) and the fridge and deep freeze are all overflowing. Can you say spoiled? I can. (Hubby says the kids mean there's no handy snacks or fast food they don't have to cook first.) I also recently read a blog that compared weekly grocery bills in different countries. In the US, they averaged about $400.00 weekly and many other countries were at least $250.00 weekly. Someone please please tell my hubby as he's always on my back about spending too much money on food. I mean REALLY BIGTIME on my back. And I don't typically spend as much as $400.00 a week on our food bill. So how are you faring on food? Are you concerned about the global food crisis? What are you doing about it, if anything? One last quick question. We mentioned a couple days ago that black male cats are more lovable and loving than most cats. I agree from my personal observations. However, when I tried to google this for actual proof, I found nothing in the first four search pages. Does anyone have more information about this?

14 comments:

Kelly Kirch said...

Ah yes. I have discovered a Kelly Kirch radio jokey, a Kelly Kirch who is active in "green" living, and someone just told me about a Kelly Kirch porn star. Sigh. Maybe it will help confuse any would be stalkers.

Giggle! said...

*GiGGLeS* Hey thanks for shopping at the RAT GiRL Store ;-) tee hee! xx

Lady in red said...

I did google myself last year and found an actress working in Germany

I am lucky if I have £70 most weeks to spend on food for 5 of us plus a cat. Oh the joys of being a single mum. Today I have done my shopping online to arrive on wed eve as I get paid wed the total including all the basics that I will use for several weeks came to £86. so that would be around $170

Bax said...

My last name (married name) is very German and if I google it there are many hits in German...and even a few in English! There are two people out there who have Facebook pages...one woman and one man!
The food thing...it has us very nervous here in our little neck of the woods. Me more than my husband, I think. We only have three of us to feed...plus 5 dogs. I've been stocking up alot lately. The upright freezer is about 1/2 full. It's a frightening notion that this nation may have to ration food. Incredible!

Jan

Kelly Kirch said...

On food shortages... we are seeing it first hand at the seminary food shelf. We all work in the "store" and shop according to a point system of worked hours, number of family members etc. When we first arrived two years ago, the shelf provided our families with approximately 70% of our monthly grocery bills. Now you're lucky to get 10%. The shelves are empty and milk/other dairy has risen so much that providing those fresh food items for our families has seriously depleted the funds for the co-op.

It's a little scary. The harder the economy hits the public, the less money there is to feed those in similar situations or even drive the trucks to get it there. It's a hardship that I'm sure all food shelves are experiencing at the moment.

Ashley Ladd said...

The more I hear, and I don't mean just big news stories that may be exaggerating things or be talking about far away places, but from us real live people, the more concerned I'm getting about this issue. I should have kept listening to my church and not let hubby interfere. I'll have to do some catch up and hope it's not too late.

captain corky said...

It breaks my heart, but there are one or two other Captain Corky's out there. I'm the best though.

And judging my the size of my gut I'm not to worried about the food shortage yet. ;)

Sandra Cox said...

The food shortage thing is scary isn't it? Your job must get depressing at times.
Black cats, for the most part are friendly. What do you think about yellow, tabbies and Persians? Just lots of great critters out there:)

Kelly Kirch said...

tabbies make me sneeze and my eyes get puffy and watery. Persians are gorgeous but so very very territorial.

Molly Daniels said...

I have had 3 black cats so far. Pete, my 1st one, had to be put down at age 22 because of renal failure. Very sweet and loveable. I cried buckets when I said goodbye. Tag and Gizmo, brother and sister respectively, were next. Giz was like her mom; when she wanted affection, she came to me. If I dared to pet her 'uninvited', she glared at me, but would sometimes change her mind and jump in my lap or twine around my legs. She was very unhappy when we moved (and the fact we'd had the audacity to adopt another female kitten!) and disappeared when she was 6. Tag, on the other had, was a 'Momma's boy'. He was the last to leave the box; the last to be weaned; the last to die at age 14. I could ramble on about this wonderful cat...in fact, I need a blog topic, so I think I'll do that today on mine!

As for the food shortage...if hubby doesn't go back to work soon, our budget is going to be really thin for rising prices. We already freeze several gallons of milk when we can get it for less than $3; I buy staples at our generic store in bulk, and I'm looking forward to another trip to our favorite butcher for another 6-month's worth of 'stock-up' meat.

CrazyCath said...

I never thought of google watching me like big bro! I have been and had a look. Thanks for the tip!

Ashley Ladd said...

Siamese cats aren't usually too friendly. We had cats that were part Siamese, not even full-blooded, that were very aloof. Or maybe it was that they were white, the antithesis of black. I think it was their Siamese heritage though.

trublmaka said...

I can't say much without having a whinge, but my main concern is my own family.
My sympathies go to all who are struggling, don't get me wrong!! But sympathies won't put food in their mouths - or mine!

We just have to do the best we can.

I've never really thought colour to be an affector of the cats I've known...
Though if I really had to pick, I'd say my greys and gingers have been the most affectionate.

Anonymous said...

Look What I Found...Preview These Busty Beauties ... CLICK HERE

Website Content and Copy: Ashley Ladd, 2008.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.
Graphics hosted by Flickr.