Saturday, March 13, 2010

C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol, Sounding Off

So, here is the HUGE disclaimer. Carol is fully C-R-A-N-K-Y! My lower back has been out for several days and even tho I have tried my tricks to ease it back, so far, the tricks are NOT working!

The stress of caring for Man’s mother long distance has been in the high realms. Man has been dealing with a lot, and it affects me. Stress is a factor in my Demon (diabetes) numbers, and yep, they are up, not where I like them. I am on no meds for the Demon, as they nearly incapacitated me, so it is food and exercise - - oh, the back, hurts - - makes walking (exercise) difficult. C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol!!

So, here are a few more C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol observations, some of which are NOT totally C-R-A-N-K-Y:

Dear Parents of young ones in campground filled with MANY old ones trying to get away from the cold winter weather. Please keep your young ones IN the camper in the AM. 6:45 local time is TOO early for them to be at the playground. C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol WAS trying to sleep. C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol’s beloved Tana is parked RIGHT beside the playground.

Blog reading, interesting post at Rate Your Genealogical Maturity by The Ancestry Insider, very interesting and the comments are too.

The Ancestry backed NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are, has produced a tremendous amount of jabber in the research community and beyond. Many bloggers have written favorable posts. I have watched the first two episodes, I had not intended to even watch, but, for a variety of reasons, I did. There are a few of us out here in researching land however, that have reservations about several items.
1.) Those Ancestry commercials. There is no way I can soften this - - those commercials are misleading and for me are on the edge of being unethical. They lead the newbies to believe they can surf into the web site and in just a few minutes, BAMB, they will have their family back to ???? I am appalled every time I see one of those commercials.

2.) The shows have increased the traffic at They had the foresight to expect this, and even turned off a few of the “goodies” on the home page. Current members lost use of some of their links on their home pages. Twas not a real issue for Moi, but, I imagine some other long time paying members were taken aback by this. I have not noticed significant slow downs in the site, BUT, my air card here in Tana has been painfully slow the last 10 days or so on every web site Man and I try to visit.

3.) The indexing still stinks, (again, no way I can soften this), at Ancestry. If you read Relatively Speaking - Cousins That Blog (Anne and Karen and Moi), you will note that the other day, all three of us had blog posts about some sort of indexing or spelling or handwriting issues. (The links above will take you directly to Friday's posts on these issues.)  It is so frustrating to spend hours looking for a record you KNOW is there, but is indexed so poorly you cannot find any creative search that will give you what you seek. Ya, I know, they have added those cute little “correction” buttons. I have used them, yes I have. But when you find what very well may be entire data bases with fatal flaws in them, I am not even gonna try. Sorry to all researchers who may have benefitted from my corrections, I just cannot do it all! And, yes, it sticks in my craw that I pay for a service that pushes great new data bases through and cannot seem to fix the indexing on older data bases.

Which brings me to, can you be a serious researcher and NOT have a subscription to Ancestry?? Well, at the moment, C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol is contemplating just such an experiment. I have been a paying member for about 10 years.  I have found FABULOUS stuff at Ancestry.  There is NO doubt, my data base and my research are richer because of Ancestry. BUT:  My disillusionment factor with Ancestry has grown to the fester stage. My subscription is up for renewal, in fact, at this moment, I have instructed them that I am not paying for the next year. Maybe I just need a break from the emotional beating I take so many times when I sign on, printing won’t work, pages won’t load, search results reported as only a partial set of results, and that indexing. It is quite frustrating when I have not been on the site for a week or so, then, having a hot lead, jump on only to discover that the census won’t load or print.

Having given this some considerable thought, here are some of my ideas:

1.) Some of the data bases I use a lot at Ancestry ARE available elsewhere.

2.) I really need to finish input and compiling the Lashbrook book, maybe if I don’t have Ancestry to fuss with, taking up some huge hunks of my time (yes, sometimes it works and sometimes I have soooo much fun there), I will actually finish???

3.) I really need to work on Lenawee cemeteries. If all goes well, when we get back to the stick that is about ALL I will be working on.

4.) When we get back to the stick built in Michigan there will be plenty of family issues and yard work to fill the hours.

Can I do it, can I suffer the withdrawal pains of no Ancestry subscription, can I be an affective researcher with out it??  I don't know.  I may chicken out and pay up, I just don't know.

And, my last C-R-A-N-K-Y- Carol observation: Found online, in the comments on an article about the WDYTYA series, this comment: this researcher signed up for the 2 week trial at Ancestry and remarks: “I found absolutely everything there was to find about my family in that two weeks. I actually ran out of things to search.” Carol’s observation: Said researcher must have believed that commercial Ancestry is running.

C-R-A-N-K-Y Carol, sounding off bout this and that.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence.



Leah said...

I TOTALLY agree with everything you say about Ancestry. But you left out one thing, the joy that is their "new search." That thing is enough to make a person scream and what's worse is that they keep foistering it on people. You're spot on about their advertisments too, they've been presenting misleading, dangerously close to unethical, commercials for as long as I can remember. I'm actually surprised no one has called them on it, especially now that they're a publicly traded company.

Apple said...

I'm sorry you are cranky but I do understand! Taking care of Mom is tough and she is only 25 miles away. Last weekend I had the rare treat of going to lunch with my sister and you should have seen the looks of the staff when I requested a table far from any children. I love kids but...

As for Ancestry, I've let my subscription lapse and either worked on other projects or signed up for some other site for awhile. I don't think you'll have any serious withdrawal issues after the first week or so ;-)

I hope you have a wonderful, stress free week!

Joan said...

Cranky Carol, I have two out of the three, the bad back that has been acting up for the last month -- and not getting better fast enough for me.

I am a long subscribing but sporadic Ancestry user --- I love it when it works and I work, but my issue is the ancillary site -- which had the "come on" freebie for which they now are going to charge. I use the site(s) as individual family "get-together" sites with pics, stories, and dialoguing. But still a lot of work for something that I have little control over. That may be the straw that breaks my Ancestry back --- not that I don't have enough back problems as it is.

Take care of you and your back, my friend.

Linda McCauley said...

Carol, You are definitely not alone in how you feel about Ancestry. I find myself yelling at the TV every time I see that women who learned from a census record that her grandfather (or somebody) was the only doctor in his town. I keep asking her if the census record really said "only doctor in town" or did she look at every occupation for every person in town to determine that - but she doesn't answer.

I've been saying for a long time that Ancestry Trees may be the complete ruination of real genealogy. Even though I don't like a lot of their practices, I still don't think I could get by without their records. So I continue my love/hate relationship with them.

Nita said...

So sorry, Carol! Things have just got to get better for you!

Greta Koehl said...

Sorry to hear that your back is giving you such trouble and hope it improves soon. I also get fed up with Ancestry frequently. And I agree with Leah - New Search stinks to high heavens. I have been enjoying Who Do You Think You Are, but I do wish someone would call Ancestry on the carpet for their misleading commercials. People who feel that they've found everything after 2 weeks on Ancestry are like those people who ask me "Can you really earn a living being a translator? I mean, there are all those automatic translation programs out there." Sigh -- the gullible will always be with us.

Hope things get better - we're all pulling for you.

Myrna said...

OK Cranky Carol: You have a legitimate gripe regarding the playground. Is there a quiet time in that park. It usually ends at 8 am in most parks. Look out tomorrow... DST will bring them an hour earlier. Maybe?!!! Here is to smooth roads, better backs, less stress and cheerful searches. Take care my friend. M

Carol said...

Morning dear readers. Well, I have to say, I did not expect this kind of reaction. Thank you all for your comments and good wishes on that back issue. Speaking of, I lowered my desk chair, got a pillow so I sit differently in the chair, am hoping that will help alleviate. Tis a bit better this AM. Hope abounds!!

Leah, I did not mention that new search because I avoid it like the plaugue. With so many that dislike that search, I just am befuddled at why they keep dumping $$ into it's improvement. Why??

Apple, I hope you are right, withdrawal pains would be good to skip! Stress free week, NOW THAT I COULD DEAL WITH! LOL

Joan, I will send forth good vibes for you and your back issues. As far as free pages at Ancestry, I am sorry you have to make that decision, what was it my daddy said, if it is too good to be true, it won't last, enjoy while you can. Sigh.

Linda, I pretty much agree with your take on the family trees. The auto linking thing was such a BAD BAD BAD idea from where I sit.

Nita, lets hope so, hey, there is abundant sunshine again today, and temps are improving, and, ohhhhh, watch for the next installment of RFTF, spring flowers coming at cha!

Greta, the gullible always with us, sweet way to phrase it! My version would be much more crude! LOL And, thank you for your good wishes, they might be working! LOL

Myrna, This is an intersting park, mostly Snow Birds, but, there is a Tanger Outlet near here-great shopping by the way-and of course, the Gulf of Mexico is only about 5 miles away. We get visitors that stay a week or two and then move on and we get some weekenders. On the weekends we do get children here. I have enjoyed watching them play and laughing and enjoying life, but, NOT at 6:45 AM.

We skipped to Daylight Savings Time overnight, I know it is a pain for businesses and such, but ole Carol LOVES DST!

Again, thanks to all my readers and friends.

Terri said...

Carol, I didn't re-sub last fall after being with Ancestry since their pre-census image days. I lasted three LONG months without it, and I griped every day about it. I'm back with them now. It is definitely a love/hate relationship for me too. Hope you feel better soon!

Mavis said...

I'm trying to catch up on reading and am just now reading this about your back. I hope that you are feeling better by now.

I'm considering dropping my Ancestry memberhsip after this year as I think for the time being I've gotten everything I can out of using Ancestry. However, since I'm way behind on my source citations, dropping them will depend on me getting in gear and getting caught up on that. I only have 10 months to get it done.