Making a recording self-explanatory

I’ve been finalizing an Audio CD of a 1980-era recording that my Mom gave to me. (For her birthday). I’m making copies for her and for a brothers and a coupla cousins that will be at a family gathering. The “think long term” mindset has dug in and changed the way I mark CDs and my other “metadata” (data about the data) that I’m including with the CD. The recording came to me with some gaps in info, a generation and family branch removed, so I’m learning by doing and trying to create as dense a nugget of info to pass on to others with the CD as I can.

I was amused by a little in-situ metadata that was part of the recording itself, identifying who the main speakers are. The original recording was made by my grandfather’s cousin, Bud or George (I hafta ask my Mom again. I wasn’t there, I don’t know. Have never met either.) It opens with my grandpa telling a story. At the end, the narrator’s voice comes on and says, “That was Bruce B[ family name].” My great uncle, his brother, also told a story. The narrator identified him, too. It’s obvious he made this recording for his side of the family, and identified the speakers on the other side—that would be my side. I, of course recognize the voices that he identified, and am frustrated by ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on July 18, 2007 in • AfterwardsAudioAudio: SoftwareDo it: YourselfLongevity
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Nixon Library undergoing changes

The LA Times covers changes to the Nixon Library, in (nearby) Yorba Linda, CA. I’ve never been. (Nor have I visited the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, either). Apparently when it was first built, the National Archive wouldn’t trust the Library to house the papers from Nixon White House years, fearing that they’d be destroyed. In a few days, the National Archives will hand over materials to the library.

The article provides a contemporary snapshot of the process whereby (controversial) current events become history. I’m old enough that the early 1970s aren’t “the old days, back when.” What began as a one-sided biased perspective in Nixon’s favor has, with the passage of time, begun to be balanced by other poitns of view. First person accounts of others involved in the Watergate events are to be part of the exhibit. The article glances on use of oral history accounts to get at what happened and why it happened (I’ll highlight ‘em below).

One of the featured activities of this last spring’s Southwest Oral History Association event in Fullerton was a visit to the Nixon Library. Now ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on July 09, 2007 in • History
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(UPDATED) goes beta: Their Terms of Service Stopped Me Cold

The promise of is compelling. Store information about your life. Forever. They’re thinking way far ahead– they’ve established a non-profit foundation to store the stories in perpetuity. Sounds great. But I’m not going to use the site. (Well, beyond a quick signup and look see.) The Terms of Service has a big gotcha in it: You grant and its parent company, Eravita, a 6% (minimum) royalty of any money you make on the proceeds of any commercial creative endeavors of the story of your own life.

UPDATE: I heard from the site’s COO. They’ve changed the TOS and deleted the objectionable part. Continue reading the original post and, at the end, the relevant portion of email from’s COO.

The TOS was brought to my attention by my friend Cynthia, who visited the site the first day it was open.

Today’s the first day I’ve had a chance to visit, and I’m rockin’ back on my heels. I’m scared to even sign up to see what is behind it. 

Here’s the part of their TOS in the big capital letters (side note: Why oh why does the most important stuff get printed in all caps, which, when presented in paragraph form, make the most important stuff the hardest to read?)

Note: They updated their TOS, view note at end of this post for more info.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on July 07, 2007 in • DigitalityFamily History SoftwareLongevityPersonal History
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