A neighbor sent me an alarmed email about a new site,, where you can type in a name and get all kinds of personal information. The email was wasted on me, because I never worry about privacy. I'm sure that anyone who can figure out anything important about me is someone I can afford to trust. If I worry about anything, it's that I'm too opaque.

For grins, though, I typed in my name. My correct address and phone number popped right up, and even my husband's name, but after that the accuracy fell off. The purported satellite view of my house was off by a half-mile or so. The reported value of my house was a serious laugh -- especially since that information is easily available in the online county real estate records. For some reason, the site reported that my household includes three people, including my husband's brother. Nothing so interesting going on here.

The site thinks my major hobbies are travel and cooking. OK, I'll buy the "cooking," but "travel"? Hardly anyone hates travel more than I do. I practically never travel.

I think the programs that sort through our electronic traces to discern our identities still need some work. The things that Amazon and Netflix come up with on their "stuff you might be interested in" pages are a hoot.

I couldn't think of a good image to accompany a post on privacy, so here's a cheerful picture of the fire we just lit, enabling us to deal with our sub-Arctic weather (actually just drifting below 40 before dawn for a few days). Yes, I know, the stockings are still hanging there. I'm getting to it.

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