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Sunday, October 23, 2016

World Serious -- Really !

It has taken a lifetime, but finally I may get to watch a World Series game played by the Chicago Cubs!  It was 1945 and if I had a memory like Mary Lou Henner I might be able to describe the most recent time that the Cubbies played the big stage.

But, no matter, Tuesday will be the first game of the 2016 Series, this one will feature the Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians.

It would have been while living in "the little house", no prairie, that I probably heard the game on a radio like the one above and featuring some of the '45 Cubs team players.

The world event clock was huge at that time  what with the ending of WWII and the brink of "good-times" for us in the U.S. Though there was a lot going on at the time, I'm pretty sure that my folks would have been joining the thousands of others in our neck-of-the-woods and listen to the games.

If anyone in the neighborhood had TV, I would be very surprised. the first I remember TV was about 1949 and then not on a set that could be found in our home . . .

President Truman was just in office for six months when the World Series was played, but he had much bigger concerns to deal with e.g. the aftermath of the "bomb" and all.

But never-the-less, watching the Cubs win the pennant last night was amazing. And then the partying that went on in Chicago. It was a long time coming.

Speaking of the President . . . there are just 15 days before the election of a "new" President.

What possibly could go wrong in that short time . . . we're witnessing some of it every day and I feel that we will be witnessing a lot more after the election, no matter who is the winner.

This week we will sit down and go over all the literature for the various proposed bills and legislation that we are to vote on . . .

This week while I did a lot of entry work on various branches of our tree. I also attended a second webinar on researching homes.

This one was presented by NEHGS known as American Ancestors. It was very well done and I learned a lot of additional information to "make it happen".

One of these days I will actually get started on one of the many homes from our tree.

This presentation used one of the oldest known homes in the U.S. (in the 1600s) to illustrate some of the process.

Like the Legacy Family Tree Webinars, this was a free one as well.

Coming up this week -- tomorrow actually -- is the 82nd birthday of my brother, Marv.  I found a picture of him this week in a High School Orchestra photo take some 65 years ago . . . of course he was just 17 in that photo.

We'll be over for the cake and goodies -- Happy Birthday!

The other event that we'll be watching (not listening to this time) is of course the World Series. It is always a magical time and if it goes to 7 games it'll end in November . . . a week before the election.

And lastly we find out about Earl and his genealogical story, somewhat:

And so now we know. And that is a bit of our week.  See you all "in a few"!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rain, Rain -- Full Moon

We anticipated flooding based on the weather reports, and maybe that's coming, but so far it has just been good periodic downpours mixed in with periods of sun, bright sunshine. It looks like the storm that tormented the Northwest has weakened a bit here. We like it especially when it rains heavily at night and then not-so-much in the daytime.

It did rain enough to water the yard and top-off the pool, which is great, given the still present drought. Dino gingerly goes out on his business trips and hustles back in quickly. We fortunately have not gone out during the rain so far. The one appointment that we kept actually came at a time when the sun was shining brightly.

Hopefully, there will be more of the rainy stuff next week and hopefully we will get lucky again with our venturing out -- we'll see.

It is now just three weeks and one day before we elect the next president.

We bounce back and forth in watching the channels that favor one candidate over the other so as to maybe get a clearer picture of what is going on . . .

After awhile it seems that all the channels report the same misdeeds.

Google is reporting that there is a huge surge in requests to know more about the "write-in" procedures.

It would appear to me that there would need to be a lot of coordination to make that process viable.

But as a form of protest simply writing in any name that suits you would work. I am hoping more clarification comes out, though many folks have already voted.

We just received our mail-in ballots this week. We have a tub full of campaign literature to pour over to make some sort of informed decision -- it is almost as bad as pouring over the medical insurance sign-up forms now inundating our mail as well.

Aside from the balloting and the insurance solicitations we had the pleasure of doing a little house work -- the kind that you watch worker-bees do for us . . .

For a long time we have thought about adding a screen door to the front door, but so many of the "security" screen doors look jail-like that we did not make the addition, until now. We found a screen door that had lockable capabilities and was securely made and was attractive as well.

Then we thought since we were adding a screen door, why not add a new entrance door as well -- so we did -- this in place of a vacation trip . . .

Above are the pics of the door. The white one in the middle is the screen door. And both doors are just what we wanted and every time I walk by them I feel good about the change. We also put an identical screen door on one of our back doors as well. We are set on doors for a bit . . .

And now, if you are looking for "that getaway vacation home" have a look-see:

The house pictured on the right is currently for sale in Hiles, Wisconsin. If interested just check online for this property. It is located on Pine Lake and you can see in the middle picture one of the major benefits of living there, talk about fish-fry Fridays . . .

And now a word about MLB versus NFL. This year is the first year in many that I have not been overjoyed about the start of football season.

We will actually miss baseball more this year than previous years.
But in the meantime, we are rooting for the Cubs -- even though they knocked us (the SF Giants) out of contention.

We loved the first game with the Dodgers last night, we thought for a moment that the Cubs were going to blow a 3 - 1 lead and then the Cubs came alive and ended the game with an 8 - 4 win.

So hopefully the Cubs will end their drought and get into and win the World Series this year. Maybe after all that I might get more interested in the NFL, but we'll have to wait and see. We will "peek" at some of the games, but so far the interest and excitement of previous years is just not there.

And lastly we'll close again with Pickles. I love how Mrs Pickles relates why she thinks that her ancestors left their homelands "for their beliefs" . . .

And that is a bit of our week, See you all "in a few" !

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hurricanes & Other Category 4-5 Events

Hurricane Matthew  HilDon hit this week. It is almost impossible to describe the scenario. The coming days will reveal the aftermath of these "hits". I think about the folks in the several states who may have already cast their ballots -- it looks like there is more decision-making info to come . . .

The eyes have it all again. This week on Monday, we here in Healdsburg were wakin' to the gentle sounds of bacon rain. It was a sound that we had not heard for several weeks or even months. It meant that I did not have to do the usual lawn & garden watering for a couple of days.

Unfortunately, folks in other parts of the country and the world were experiencing the sounds associated with a category 4 storm. In the political arena we are experiencing category 5 stuff . . .

But I still managed to fit in a Legacy Webinar that I at first glance of the subject matter  did not give it much hope of being interesting -- but  was pleasantly surprised at how really interesting it was.

The presentation by Ron Arons built around the members of his family tree with real life examples of his analysis of his own relatives handwriting albeit some were "black sheep" relatives.

I liked the black sheep example and think it may be of interest to search for some of those in our tree -- though it is highly unlikely that I will be successful, just saying.

The webinar led me to send away for one of the books recommended and it just arrived late yesterday called "Handwriting Analysis Putting It to Work for You".

I've read the first few pages and am intrigued. So it will be one more book to squeeze into the daily regimen, but a fun one I think.

One of the other events that we watched was the start of the National League Division Series, best of 5 games between the Cubs and the SF Giants.

Off to the right is a view of Wrigley Field, the stadium from my childhood days. I grew up watching the Cubs on channel 9 WGN, Jack Brickhouse reporting, sponsored by Hamms "the beer refreshing" . . .

In those days there were no night games at Wrigley because they did not have lights, so all games were played in the daytime.

Well, unfortunately for the Giants, they have lost the first two games, which means they can not lose another to stay in the quest for the pennant and ultimately, the World Series title.

On the other hand, I am a bit torn, the Cubbies are looking better to move on. They haven't been in a World Series since the days of WWII. And they have not won a World Series title since 1908.

This year baseball is holding a lot more of our interest than the NFL, which we peek at, but are just not that enthused about due to several factors, enough said.

So -- what's all the fuss about clowns. So far I don't get it.

I did happen to find a picture of my father from 1967, standing in front of a gallery that happens to have a clown picture looking over his shoulder.

So I added a a gallery of additional clowns who look suspiciously like the one in my dad's pic.

I will be watching the news for updates to the "clown" situation -- speaking of clowns:

The second "presidential" debate is scheduled to take place in a few hours.

In the light of the latest news items, I can not imagine how the two candidates will manage to appear to be presidential.

This election is starting to be a real conundrum.

In the many presidential election campaigns that I have witnessed over the years (starting with the Harry S Truman campaign) I do not think that there has ever been a campaign like this one.

And as "Dandy Don Meredith" used to sing on Monday Night Football at the appropriate time: "The party's over. . ." and it may be, sad to say.

And lastly, back to genealogy and more specifically DNA, I continue to receive newly found relatives from the three DNA services that I donated my DNA to -- unfortunately it is still difficult to prove how they are related -- but I'm sure that that will become easier with time.

At least I don't have the following issue (or I think I don't):

So that is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October Feast -- That's Debatable Too

Well, it's the second of October and it actually rained a bit for the first time in weeks. Early in the morning there was some moisture detected on the deck and I thought that might be the extent of the forecast rainfall for the North Bay . . . but, no, a couple of hours later there was more -- not a huge amount, but more.

The vineyards around our town and area lend to the "feast" of this time. Crush is a big deal here and this year is no exception. And tonight we add to the "feast" with a rib-eye steak, roasted new potatoes and corn-on-the-cob . . .

Besides the rainfall, we actually turned the heat on early this morning to "take the edge off" . . . while writing this I can tell that the edge is off and so goes the heat.

The searching this week was all over the board and tree. I spent a lot of time browsing through the pages of school yearbooks -- what a great resource that provides.

Once I find a yearbook that applies to a school and year that I figure that I know some folks, I browse. I found a lot of friends of my siblings in different books -- names that brought back memories -- e.g. Adler, Gothard, Castrodale and so many others. And then also some folks that are in the tree like the Dame kids, the Best kids and the Rot kids and many others.

But I also went back over some of the items in the pictures from my mother -- and I looked at this:

How nice it would be to know more about this obvious letter written in Swedish.                                                                                                                                                                                      Does anyone read and understand Swedish. I have more pages and what I think is the envelope that this came in originally.                                                                                                                      It was written as best as I can tell in October 1884 and I believe either mailed to/from Marinette, Wisconsin.                                                                                                                                                My mother's mother's family was from Marinette and they were Swedish.                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe a family name might be Erikson, but I do not have that name connected in our tree -- yet.                                                                                                                                                                This type of "brick-wall" is prevalent over our tree and it sure would be nice to break through some.

I spent a lot of time having fun in the search mode without a real objective other than to "find stuff",
which I usually always do. 

A lot of my time this week was spent transferring files, lots of files from Picasa -- which Google this year stopped supporting -- transferring them to Dropbox.

I was "sick about" Google's decision to drop Picasa because that was the main program that I used every day, all day, for a variety of things from photo editing to organization of files -- thousands of files.

So now, I am using Evernote and Dropbox to pick up the pieces . . . 

What's happening today and going forward?

As I write this, the above game is being recorded for us to watch as we eat our lunch of hot dogs and maybe some peanuts & crackerjack . . .

Today is the last regular season game for the Giants and it is the third of a three game series against the league rival -- Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants were so very fortunate to win the first two games and now they need to win this third game to possibly be in the playoffs. Our fingers are crossed and it is an "even" year. The Giants have won the World Series in the last three "even years" 2010, 2012 & 2014.

We watched our across the street neighbor yesterday with the mom and the son, all dressed in Giant gear waiting to join up with others and head to the game. The trip from here and back pretty much involves all-day. We watched to see if we spotted them in the stands -- but we did not.

Here's what the MLB post season schedule looks like so far:

You can see in the above schedule that on Wednesday, the 5th, that it will be either the Cards or the Giants playing the Mets depending on today's results. 

What else is coming up?

The Vice Presidential Debates are on Tuesday night and then the 2nd Presidential Debate is coming up next Sunday. 

It is hard to imagine watching the 2nd Presidential debate after the horrendous exchange of questionable material that is being thrown around by both sides.

Where is Harold Stassen, Alf Landon or even Ralph Nader when we need 'em ? Harold, by the way ran for the nomination 9 or so times. Alf & Ralph also ran, I think Alf ran just the one time against Roosevelt in a hugely lopsided election and Ralph, I am not sure -- but I am thinking they all look better than what we have currently . . .

And finally:

Besides this being the last regular season game for the Giants, it is the last baseball game that will be announced by Vin Scully -- who is retiring today.

Vin Scully was "the" announcer for 67 years, he is nearly 90 years old and I had the pleasure of listening to him announce the Dodgers games for the 19 years that I lived in the LA area.

Apparently Vinny has the second most years associated with a team -- Tommy Lasorda has one more than he has. Amazing.

In today's game, broadcast in San Francisco, I believe it will be the third inning that the SF broadcasters will turn it over so that we can hear Vin call the plays -- he still has it after all these years. We wish him the very best in retirement!

So, October feast will begin tonight with a rib eye steak, lookin' forward to that!

That is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few" !

Sunday, September 25, 2016

It's Fall . . . Really?

It is supposed to be 100° here in our town today -- that hardly says "fall". And speaking of that particular "f" word, we are reluctant to use it too often around here due to the current state of being.

There are things falling around here just not us at the moment. During the day lately we have had the house pretty much closed up due to the temperature. But in the evening after we open all the windows and doors every once in awhile we ask "did you hear that ?" it's usually one of the many apples that fall mostly during the evening and night time and they bounce off of things or just go splat . . .

We have a large and really productive green apple tree in the back. Last week we made a trip to the local food pantry with bags of picked and select apples for others to enjoy. We used to make a variety of things for our own use, but have slacked off of that this year.

Some of the apples make it into the pool which provides a "bobbing" opportunity and several that have been pecked by the birds and are going bad smash to the pavement and attract bees and flies.

We have another apple tree on the side of the house in the front -- we haven't even checked on that yet -- maybe next week.

Where did all the time go this week?

Gail refers to a calendar everyday to check on "what's happening".

She stays on top of birthdays and anniversaries that way. I produce a calendar for her that is generated from Family Tree Maker and I include as many of the pertinent relatives from the tree that I can.

Last year when I synced the tree with the FTM tree it erased all information re living folks. That meant that to produce a calendar which was useful I had to go back in and re enter the dates and facts for each person.

The calendar project took up many hours, but it did help to "fill in many blanks" so to speak. There are still some folks that I need data on and over the coming weeks I'll be looking for that so that I can be up to date.

So, I have printed out an 18 month calendar for us and we will be set 'til sometime in 2018 . . .

Where else did we spend our time this week?

 Last week we mentioned that our goal was to be able to park at least one car in the garage.

We have accomplished that goal and we are now a "one-car" family and that car is IN the garage -- yeah!

We now have pledged to do a little each day to take care of the rest of the garage so that we can move around with ease.

We did make two trips to the Goodwill nearby and will be making additional trips again soon.

Today, due to the heat and other commitments (NFL) we'll take a break from garage duty.

Other events this past week:

Dino turned five years old. It is really hard to imagine that he is "middle-age" -- but he is. He is a fantastic dog and a great companion for us.

Above is a look at his eyes, first as a 10 week old pup and then five years later and on the right are the eyes peering out from a birthday card from Cuz Bruce.

And then there is "mine eyes have seen . . ."

A spread of seventy some years from the eyes on the left to the eyes on the right.

And events coming up:

And in about an hour, we'll be watching "the" game.

For us it is the Niners versus the Hawks. It is never a dull game when these two teams meet.

But I have to say that football in general has lost some of the luster and magic lately due to pregame activities.

It is no longer the magical escape for three hours and I hope that it can return to being that again.

And lastly coming up in 30 some hours:

It is the first of the presidential debates.

I certainly remember some of the first televised debates -- especially the sweating Nixon and the cool Kennedy one . . .

What will this debate be like -- I can only imagine.

We'll know shortly.

That is a bit of our week, see you "in a few" !

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Full Moon -- Full Sun . . .

September, one of my favorite months of the year and to have a full "harvest" moon is captivating. We go out each night and peer up through the lattice over the deck and spot the orangish sphere shining brightly.

The other reality for September -- this week especially is the "full sun". We usually sit out back in the morning with Dino and take in the warmth generated by that sun. Today we only sat out there for a short period. The full sun was HOT already -- it is supposed to be near 100 ☼.

We plan to utilize the cooling effects of the a/c to keep us comfortable today. And another benefit to the sun today is that it will be way too hot to work on our garage organization project -- oh darn . . .

There is a ton of football and baseball games to entertain us today and we have already programmed the DVD to record them and we'll pick and choose which games to watch and what parts of those games to "speed through" -- like commercials . . .

The time is flying by in this election year and now we only have 50 days left.

When there are really only two choices for president the daily news items play games with your thinking. We wish that the other two candidates could be considered, but NOT . . .

One day, you can say "Well that cinches my choice" and then the other
candidate does something and we are torn again and the ambivalence
starts anew.

Maybe I should turn off the political news on TV and stop reading the newspaper.

The genealogical searching continues and the listening to podcasts and webinars is ongoing.

I try to mix up the resources and look at many different sites for help in the search.

One of the sites that I have used on occasion is Genealogy In Time Magazine and you can check it out yourself by clicking the above link.

They have a great search engine and always report about new resources to further the search. They also offer a library of photos that are available for our use. I have been using GIT more and more lately as they have given me benefits.

Gail, on the other hand keeps busy, in her free time that is, on needle point work.

She is working on some new designs that are -- I think -- stunning,

She recently completed the designs on the right.

They are finished as coasters and are really attractive.

A few years ago we were lucky to have a Needlepoint Store in our town.

That has gone by the wayside though and now mostly supplies and other needed services for needlepoint have to be completed online.

Though on occasion we have driven the roughly 100 mile round trip to the nearest store.

The above things are what we have been doing, to the left pretty much sums up what Dino does.

He does that in almost every room in the house and it doesn't even matter if he lands on one of the four beds that his has around or just on the floor somewhere.

This afternoon I'm sure after he has been outside on a "business" trip he'll lay flat out next to the register that shoots out a/c . . .

All in all as that ad says:  "things are lookin' up". We try to maintain a doable routine that is satisfying for us.

At the same time, there is always "that garage project" that creeps back into our awareness. And guess what -- we are actually close to the time when we can put one car into the garage. That would be amazing.

Which car will it be that gets garaged . . . we'll let you know.

And that is a bit of our week. It is Sunday, maybe due for some fried chicken.

See you all "in a few" !

Sunday, September 11, 2016

If Only . . . A Bad Dream . . .

As all the news is reporting -- it is "hard to believe that it has been fifteen years" but that is the way I feel as well. It was like yesterday that early (on the west coast) we turned on the TV to watch in disbelief.

Supposedly it was a beautiful day in New York City on that day. Today it was fitting that here it was a cool dreary early-morning reminder of that event.

How different the world would be if the whole thing had been a bad dream. I remember very well enjoying a breakfast at the top of one of the towers in the late 80s. It was a memory that I won't forget. I was with a group of folks from my company while attending a business meeting.

In 2001, Gail & I were working our retirement jobs. We were teaching a class that one of the students reported in a few days late because he had been in NYC on that fateful day and could not catch a flight home . . . he was one of the lucky ones.

Unfortunately a receptionist in our office had a son working in one of the towers that day -- he managed to make a few phone calls (at least one to his brother) before the phone and he went silent.

Even today lives are impacted as some of the results of the toxic air that responders and others were forced to breath are now having major health issues.

We lived thousands of miles from the scene but like almost everyone in the country we were "touched" in many ways. For example, I also worked a part time job in a photo shop because it was a fit with a hobby for me.  Part of my activities involved developing film (just at the start of the digital era that put film out of business) and there were some local dentists from our town that had volunteered to do forensic work to identify remains. I developed many of those films . . . and I will never forget those images.

And so it goes -- we remember . . .

But as the colorized photo to the right shows, we are still working hard on the family tree.

Every day I do something that adds to the tree.

This week I worked on two branches mostly. One was a branch for a former spouse (they are the relatives of my children after all) and they are a very interesting family.

The other family was from "my-side" of the tree and a few generations that needed updating.

Mostly all the above work can be seen on the tree that is publicly displayed on

Remember that facts and pictures of the living are not shown on those trees -- unless you have been authorized to view them.

Dogs have been a huge part of my life. I have had more dogs than I can count. I know that this is true for many others in our tree. Here are a couple of examples:

This photo (colorized) shows my Uncle Stewart watching his father, Dayton Bumgardner, working with their dog "Prince".

This photo had to have been taken in the early 1930s before color photography, by whom I don't know.

It is the yard of their home at 2521 N Bernard St, Chicago, Illinois.

I of course never got to meet "Prince" only heard about him. But I'm sure that I would have liked him.

Looking at the photo, it is interesting to note that Uncle Stew had his right pantleg rolled up -- probably to keep it from getting caught in a bicycle chain -- I remember doing that as well.

Still remembering:

The picture to the right (also colorized) shows me, my brother Jon & our puppy "Skippy"'

It was taken -- maybe by our older brother, Marv who was "into" photography in those days and had a dark room in the basement of this house.

This is in the yard of 240 S LaGrange Road, LaGrange, Illinois, in the early 1950s.

The house these days is listed as one of the historical homes in the area.

Besides family tree climbing and things like watching baseball and now some football we are enjoying our new "stovetop grill".

We have used it for most of the proteins that we enjoy with great success.

It is hard to believe that for under $20 (Amazon) this devise has given us more than we could have hoped for.

Tonight we will use it for the ribs we are planing on for dinner along with maybe corn-on-the-cob and also roasted potatoes.

This grill is amazing and is very easy to use and clean up afterwards.

And finally, remember

That is a bit of our week, "see you all in a few"!