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Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Healdsburg Sun-Times

Growing up one of the papers that I delivered was the Chicago Sun-Times. It was tabloid shaped and I delivered it along with the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal in my neighborhood in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Now, I'm just delivering the good and obvious news (to those of us here in Northern California) that this weekend we are having mid-seventies weather.

While we are still in a drought we might as well enjoy our sunshiny days. It is indeed just like the song says -- "lookin' all around, there is nothing but blue skies . . ." and so it goes.

But as the nursery rhyme might say: Rain, rain has gone away, but please please come again, Dino, Gail and me, want to play . . .

Maybe a "Do-Over" is Warranted

For some reason this rings true a little bit. As I look back over the research that I have done there may have been some times that the charts
needed tweaking.

There is a huge on-going effort right now about doing a "Genealogy Do-Over" and I am intrigued with the idea.

I have joined the "Do-Over" group on Facebook and am considering my options.

There are plusses and minuses for all of this to happen -- we'll see how this all plays out.

For now, I will continue some research as usual.

Follow-Up Serendipity

You just never know what you'll find when you go into the old newspapers. I was exploring in when I found this "rest of the story" involving a cousin of mine (ours), Malcolm Hiles from LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

If you do a search -- using the search bar at the top of this post for Malcolm, you'll see the post I wrote about in March of 2013. Malcolm unfortunately was murdered in January of 1931 when he was just 50 years old.

We knew who the killer was, but just not what happened to him -- until now:

If I had seen this front-page story when it came out -- I would probably have never thought that it had anything to do with our family. But I would have been wrong.

This is the article that explains what happened to the killer of Malcolm Hiles in 1931:

What is interesting is that the killer abandoned his own car shortly after the killing in Wisconsin and somehow ended up in Illinois about 170 miles away. You can read the newspaper article about the events that close out that part of the story.

I have not seen this story published in a Wisconsin paper (maybe it was and I just missed it) but it definitely was published in the Rockford Morning Star.

Malcolm Hiles' life was cut short due to some very unfortunate circumstances.  There are several descendants of Malcolm & Emma, his children and grandchildren that probably have a lot "to say" about the events of January 1931.

To the left is a picture of Malcolm & Emma,  probably not too long before the murder. Emma lived until 1954 -- I think not ever remarrying.

It would be nice to link up with some of the cousins from that family.

I am going to see if I can locate any of the living cousins and if anyone knows them please share that information.

I will publish my findings about this family as I find out the facts.

Things To Look Forward To:

As usual, I HAVE started my Christmas shopping as I go throughout the year.

Whenever I see a "good" deal on Amazon or another online site, especially if it offers free shipping, I make a purchase.

The shelf in my office closet gets filled by the end of the season and sometimes -- no usually -- I forget a lot of what I have purchased . . .

And of course, in the back of my mind is the upcoming
Super Bowl game next Sunday.

How will the media keep from talking about the subject of the day -- pictured to the right . . .

The 49th Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The current cost for some tickets -- $4,000 to $14,000

The current cost to watch on TV -- $0

We are planning a "special dip" as a snack during the game.
I remember last year we had a huge bowl of guacamole and chips that we managed to polish off.

This year I saw a "Philadelphia Cheesesteak Dip" featured on that we plan to have in addition to
the guacamole and chips . . .

Things are lookin' up!

That is a bit of our week. Tonight being Saturday, it looks like burgers & fries! See you all, in a few!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rain . . . and Then Some

It's true, we did get some rain this week. Not a lot but some. The grass and other plants appreciate it. The forecast does not look good though for much more rain in the near future. We still are living in the shadow of a big drought.

There's something comforting about rainy days -- even dreary rainy days. Which for us translated into comfort food. We had roast beef for two dinners this week, we had pork roast for two dinners this week, we had salmon along with angel-hair pasta and fresh vegetables just to name a few.

We're as comfy as the pelican atop our arbor. Dino has to be "encouraged" more to go outside for his "business trips" after which he curls right up on one of his beds.

Here's Good Advice -- NOT

It is hard to imagine this kind of thinking from just about 60 years ago. This was an ad placed by "The Soda Pop Board of America".

I remember growing up in the 40s and 50s and "pop" was very popular but fortunately, our family was only allowed to have "pop" with Saturday night's dinner (burgers).

This ad and many others are amazing to look at as I pour over old newspapers. As a matter of fact, I just received a new book -- "Searching for Your Ancestors in Historic Newspapers" this morning as I was about to start writing this post.

I do subscribe to a couple of newspaper sites as well as that includes newspapers. It is fun to find facts about relatives and then look at the ads of the period.

I am hoping that the new book will give me even more ways to explore old newspapers.

Genealogy on TV

This week "Genealogy Roadshow" started again. It is on PBS on Tuesday nights starting from January 13 through February 24.

This week the show was in New Orleans with several folks having their genealogical questions addressed.

The show is down-to-earth and a pleasure to watch.

I'm hoping that on one of these episodes I will strike-it-rich and find out about someone from our tree -- highly unlikely, but maybe the method used will enlighten me to make the same discoveries about one of our folks -- we'll see.

Genealogy On The Web

Well, I spend a lot of time "on-the-web" and this week was no exception. I got lucky in that there were two webinars from "Legacy Family Tree Webinars" on this week. The first was their first evening webinar on Wednesday night and the second was on Friday morning.

Mary Hill on Wednesday evening presented how to track your relatives via migration patterns by using the "big four" record sources. Then Marian Pierre-Louis presented "Expanding Your Research from a Single Fact".

Both webinars were excellent and are available for about a week at no charge on the Family Tree Webinar site.

The upcoming webinars are listed and next week's Wednesday presentation should be a real doozy in that Thomas MacEntee is going to detail how he is going to "start over" with his genealogical research after many years of work.

NFLology On TV

Well, genealogy is only part of my (our) scheduled activity this week.

It is hard to believe that the NFL season is almost over for this season.

But tomorrow is the second to last big NFL game days.

Starting in Seattle the Packers will contend with the "12th Man" and maybe some rain to play that Championship game. On Fox.

Then the afternoon game will be between New England and Indianapolis on CBS. The winners then of these two games will meet for Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix on February 1.

Don't even ask about ticket prices, hotel prices (or availability) or air-fares . . . unless you are a recent lotto winner . . . for us TV will just be fine, actually much better.

Lastly --

Actually I am working on gathering more information from a "cousin" in Wisconsin that I just met recently due to a close match of DNA.

We are e-mailing things back and forth and he is exploring the HILES website. Hopefully I'll have
new found people and things to talk about shortly.

And today being dreary, cool and looking-like-rain, we might just have some real comfort food for dinner -- chicken pot-pies . . .

See you all in a few!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It's Just Grand . . .

We did not get any rain this week, but we did get some sunshine -- enough that I think some of the plants thought it to be springtime. The roses are already starting to look grand. I hope that they don't pay the price as we are still getting some cold weather.

The colors are exceptionally pink and the shapes are nice. It is hard to believe that we have a chance to view these beautiful flowers at what seems to be such an early time in the year.

While we are getting a lot of sunshine -- not every day, but some days, we are also getting a lot of "moonshine" (not THAT kind) the natural kind.

Dino and I went out in the yard one early evening just in time to see the moon clear the hills off to the East. Dino was I guess a bit "moonstruck" -- enough of this . . .

The two lion fish were as usual, non-plussed over the whole thing . . .

They probably will be getting some tank-mates soon that just may impress them though.

Now Speaking of Grand . . .

What a "Grand" way to start a new year! My brother's granddaughter had twin babies yesterday.

That would make him a Great Grandfather for twice already!

Kim Jean Nielsen Slaughter gave birth to the two a few minutes apart -- Davis Victor Slaughter and his twin sister Riley Hope Slaughter.

Some early -- just in -- snaps of the new ones.

Jon & Kim live in Park City, Utah and have doubled the size of their family. We offer our congratulations and thank them for putting colors on the kids to id them.

This makes me a Great Grand Uncle for the first time as well.

Off to the left you can see the chart showing some of the relationships involved.

I think that this is the first time that I have been able to report a birth after just one day -- thank you social media!

We can only imagine the happy times ahead for this family as they grow and enjoy life.

Hopefully we will get the opportunity to visit them in Utah at some point. I always enjoy going to Utah and Park City especially.

Another view of the family chart is on the right.

I suspect that we will be adding to the chart in the coming months and years.

What Else Happened this Week

Well, I did do some searching for family this week but nothing as earth-shattering as the "twins".

I did attend a great Webinar on -- it was an excellent presentation on using the iPad and other tablets while working on genealogy.

If you click on the above you will see the upcoming webinars for the month of January -- they pretty much have the year filled out with some very interesting speakers and topics.

All of the webinars are free -- which is not the case on some other sites.

What is on our Nightstand Currently

We just finished one of the best biographical type books that we have read -- "Still Foolin' Em" by Billy Crystal. Everything that Billy Crystal does is top-notch.

The book was really a delight to read and I hope that we can read more from him in the coming years!

Now we have begun to read a biographical book by James Garner.

He has always been an interesting personality AND he may even be related.

His birth name was Bumgarner -- even though it is different than our Bumgardner family there may be a connection.

We have read a few chapters and already have been surprised by some of what we have learned about James.

There are many more chapters to go and hopefully we will see where there may be a connection.

And so, that is a bit of our week -- it is Saturday, and the NFL playoffs are on today and tomorrow.

We might just have burgers or then again we might have BBQ beef sandwiches made from the leftover pot roast this week . . .  see you all in a few!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year's Moon

Last week we had the Christmas Moon which was several nights of a crescent shape and this week starting last night a full moon appearing over the houses across the street and winding it's way around to the back yard high in the sky.

So a New Year's Moon . . .

Polar plunge anyone?  We saw pictures from across the country showing the daring folks who started the year by taking the plunge into some body of water with freezing temperatures all around.

Who would have thought that here in Healdsburg we too had freezing temperatures. Actually our nighttimes temps have been well below the freezing point the last several days.

On New Year's Day just before tuning in the Rose Parade (from Pasadena) my new weather station pointed out the 27 degrees outside . . .

Speaking of the Rose Parade, having lived in Pasadena for several years, I remember well spending the evening on Colorado Blvd waiting for the parade to arrive the next morning. That ship has sailed though as now it is just fine observing from the comforts of home.

New Year's Eve Eve . . .

We are such party animals . . .  well maybe not so much. But we did have a great time:

The celebration started at an early hour and concluded well before the bewitching hour.

My brother and his wife came over for a holiday dinner -- a purely quiet evening topped off with just plain comfort food.

Coming from the Midwest both my brother and I absolutely love meatloaf and remember watching our mother prepare that loaf working all the ingredients by hand.

I too wound up with "meatloaf" smelling hands and the results were great.

We also enjoyed twice baked potatoes and of course fresh green beans. For dessert, it was vanilla ice cream and/or sherbet along with some of Pepperidge Farms finest cookies . . .

We had a chance to reminisce about holidays past and some of the current goings-on today. For certain we are in a different phase of celebrating the holidays. We enjoyed these recent holidays.

Current Search Results

Over to the right you can see some of the most recent photo updates that I have made on the HILES website.

I try to work on that site every day even if it is just a little tweaking. Of course it all takes time.

When I receive photo Christmas cards (and it seems that we get more and more these days) I can then update pictures for folks in the tree.

Also, I update photos from other sources as well. When you get the chance you might visit the site to see the updated images and documents.

To visit the site:    HILES Website  and please remember that I am happy to offer assistance about the site and to even give tours . . .

If you have suggestions about the site, please let me know.

It Takes a Village

Gail has been working on the puzzle pictured on the left since Thanksgiving.

The puzzle is truly a challenge and the most difficult part is at hand -- the border.

Olivia stopped by for a quick visit and was able to actually find four pieces of the all one color border, giving hope for finding the rest.

Gail had another friend stop over the other day and she found one piece, so little by little the puzzle will get done -- but it will take the "village" one by one . . . I'm steering clear.

Something Fishy

Our aquarium has taken in a new inhabitant -- a lion fish. It is a magnificent specimen and seems to like his surroundings:

We are hoping that he stays for awhile. He has already captured the imagination of some visitors. We may just need to find compatible tank-mates. In the meantime, it is enjoyable to see the regal fish as he rules his twelve gallon domain.

And that is about it for the first week of 2015. Later today we will start watching the NFL playoffs.
The team that we would have been rooting for, of course, is also a spectator for the playoffs.

But it is still Saturday and that means burgers fillet of sole. So there you have it, see you all in a few!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

. . . A Christmas Moon all through the Week . . .

Each evening off the deck in the west appears a "Christmas Moon" and on Christmas Night it appeared as a yellow crescent in the sky above our arbor. The air was crisp and clear and while on the phone with my daughter I snapped a few pictures, one of which appears in the collage following:

The moon was an orangery color and hung for viewing for an hour or so and then moved on . . .

Then there is our tree, which on Christmas Day we doubled our ornaments through the gifting process. We have room for maybe one more, which we'll work on.

Lastly, we have our Christmas Ham (BA) covered in a spicy glaze. We'll eat the ham probably at a variety of mealtimes til New Year's . . . then when it is just a knobby bone with trimmings we'll make pea soup -- like we used to stop and get at "Andersen's" in Buellton, California . . .

Baby, It's Cold Outside

One of my Christmas gifts this week was the "cool" weather station to the left.

This morning as I was letting Dino outside I noticed just how cold it was -- an even 32 degrees -- would we have a skating rink in the back yard -- NOT.

It is nice as there is a transmitter that you put outside somewhere and that sends the signal inside to the monitor.

It also receives signals from a satellite to update the time and date.

The display is easy to see from the couch and it will be interesting to see if it ever predicts snow . . .

Lots of Truck Traffic this Week

While they weren't the only delivery trucks that made their way to our door this week -- they were the most common.

Since we do so much of our shopping online now versus brick & mortar, one main issue is the amount of packing and shipping material that we have to dispose of . . .

I ordered a couple of things yesterday that they said would be delivered on Sunday -- and that usually means by USPS delivery truck.

Dino never barks at the delivery folks and he gets excited whenever there are packages arriving -- some of which might contain his
food items.

These were some of the Christmas Week items and there were several others as well.

Everything came on time and all in one piece as well.

We added some things to the fish tank (just not any fish at the moment) that's why it looks so clean and nice . . . maybe we'll look for some virtual fish.

I don't think the Boeing Buff is being worn in one of the ways illustrated, but it is unique.

Dates from the Tree

The final week of the year, and there were plenty of celebrants:

Several birthdays come next week, The asterisks denote closer relationships. The anniversaries have both my Great Grandfather and my Great Great Great Grandfather celebrating.

Best wishes to them all!

Dino Enjoys the Week!

Dino got company this week -- and he can stay. We thought about a pup, but settled on this guy. The new addition actually startled us a couple of times when we spotted him on the bed (Dino has never been on our bed).

And while we were opening our gifts we gave Dino one of his -- a piece of a deer or elk antler. He loved it and stayed on his mat and chewed for almost the entire day.

His friend is actually larger than he is, and is quiet like Dino too. The top right shows Dino totally enjoying his chew . . .

The Status of the Search

Well, this week brought some new focus -- a new program -- "Map My Family Tree" -- by Progeny Genealogy:

The above maps are filled with red dots, plotted by the program. Each dot represents an event, e.g. birth, marriage,  or death locations for the folks who are in our tree.

I just started using the program and hope that I can use it to both visually see the migration of our ancestors and to clean up location reference points.

Another new program this week -- "Dragon Naturally Speaking" by Nuance. I have started the process of integrating its use into my everyday online activities. I started with getting the system
used to my voice and pattern of speech.

Eventually,  it will type for me as I speak -- it will be a learning curve. It also will allow me to navigate Internet sites and fill in forms and data with voice commands.

We'll see how all this progresses.

And Finally

That is a bit of our week, we are enjoying the holiday season and it feels like we are on a holiday from work -- just like some of the rest of you -- even though we have not been engaged in employment for some time now.

This coming week we will welcome in the New Year once more -- 2015.  And tonight being Saturday we just might have burgers -- Ham burgers for sure.  Happy New Year to you all! See you in a few!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

'twas the week before Christmas and all . . .

It is amazing how the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas flies by! Fortunately we managed to squeeze in our Christmas shopping -- and none of it included a mall.

We did venture out to a couple of free standing stores to see if we would feel the "old holiday spirit" but that was not to be . . . it seemed chaotic and just not up to the old standards.

So we capture the spirit in other ways, like baking and wrapping gifts and standing in the lines at the post office -- nothing gives me the Christmas spirit like chatting in the post office line during the holidays. Actually it was not that bad this year.

So now we just count down to the big day -- 5 days to go . . . we keep busy with the normal day-to-day things plus some holiday shows on TV and maybe a visit here and there with friends and relatives.

Both of us have always enjoyed the holidays.  I do have one other purchase to make and that would be the Christmas ham. Ham has always been one of my favorite meats. So we look forward to ham dinner and the numerous leftovers as well.

Dates from our Tree

It's curious to see the increased numbers of both birthdays and anniversaries coming up next week:

And several of the events fall on Christmas Day as well . . . Best Wishes to all!

Activities this Week

We tried to stay inside most of the days this week as the rains came sporadically and it was just way more comfortable at home listening to the sounds of the weather.

Gail did some baking and I did some cooking and Dino played his "poor-me" role hoping for some extra bits of something, anything . . .

The muffins were great and we actually put some into Christmas baskets and delivered them to a few folks.

The whole chicken seen to the left with steam rising from it as it cooled was so tasty. Besides a couple of dinners of slices of chicken we also made a pot of delicious chicken soup.

There's just something about a bowl of hot homemade chicken soup, some crackers, a
good TV show and then maybe a nap to wrap
things up til dinner . . .

State of the Search

The search went on this week as usual. I did have some contact with a couple of cousins and I did watch a webinar about "bagging a live one" which was all about connecting with cousins that you did not know you had . . . I'm anxious to put into action some of the ideas shared there.

But this week I also decided to do some experimenting with various charting ideas found in a couple of the programs that I have from Progeny Genealogy -- "Charting Companion" and "3-D Family Tree".

The above is an example of a bow-tie chart of me and 3 other generations. It shows on the left side, my paternal and on the right side my maternal folks out to the great grandparents.

I sometimes forget that I have these programs and when I do re-discover them I am reminded of some of the places that I need to pay attention to . . .

Status of the Holiday Puzzle

While I work on creating charts and other goodies using the parts of our tree, Gail has
been working on the most difficult of puzzles.

When she started this a couple of weeks ago she swore that there was "no-way" to do this . . .

The challenge comes from the fact that while there is a beautiful picture to put together there is also a complete border (all the same color) that encompasses the entire puzzle.

She has, little-by-little accomplished a great deal as can be seen to the right.

Often she does her best work after leaving the puzzle for awhile and then upon returning finds a few pieces which creates enough energy to continue.

The one thing she has to remember is that she best NOT stand "for just a moment" to find that one piece . . . she needs to sit down and not be bent over while working on it.

Liberty Puzzles are a great way to spend time working on a Holiday Puzzle, they are always unique and the laser-cut shapes are always fun to work with . . .

And now a step back into the Future

In 1959 Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista government and began his regime.

In 1959, I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in time to get a flavor of the Cuban doings.

I was in my senior year in high school and many of the kids I knew were spending $29 to fly to Havana and join in the celebrations.

I always wish that I had done that too as it would be fun to have that memory -- I think.

But shortly after this period Cuba became off-limits for U.S. citizens and it has taken it's toll on both the US and Cuba.

It came as a huge surprise that we as a country will reestablish a relationship with Cuba and soon we will see hopefully exciting changes.

It won't be too long before all the game shows will be giving away trips to Havana and Cuban cigars will once again be able to be brought legally into the country. I have to say that I have always enjoyed Cuban cigars -- though I have not smoked in many years.

Aside from the trips and cigars there are many things that I hope both the Cuban people and us benefit from -- for example an open exchange of ideas and cultural events that enhance all of our lives.  We'll see . . . and we look forward to this positive bit of foreign news for a change.

That was a bit of our week -- we wish all a great Christmas!  It is Saturday night, menu TBD.

See you all in a few!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pineapple Express -- 12/13/14 . . .

Right now it is a beautiful sunny Saturday. I believe that we are in-between storms. The news all week has been about the storming on both coasts. But today you'd have no idea here that we had weather . . .

Above are some of the pictures taken in our town on Thursday, December 11. We were busy at home and never left the house and enjoyed the sounds of rain -- AND we were lucky too in that we did not lose power.

We had no idea that the town was in the condition that even Scott Pelley on the CBS National News (Western Edition) talked about. We saw it on local and national news and couldn't believe our eyes.

So Friday we decided to go have a look-see . . . we found NO water anywhere but a few scattered sandbags were spotted. The water had gone back to wherever it goes. No kayaks, canoes or rain gear was seen . . .

But, there is supposed to be more rain tomorrow and the next few days, so maybe we'll see some more water sports.

We are also glad that we do not live among the 12 giant oak trees that we used to live under -- many trees have been downed so we'll have to drive by to check on the old homestead.

Unfortunately I think we are still in a drought condition.

Next Week Dates from our Tree

There are more than 30 celebrating birthdays next week and about half as many wedding anniversaries:

Best wishes to all!

Speaking of Dates

Thanks to Gail for pointing this out to me, but today is the last sequential date of this year. And as the AP article reported, it is the last sequential calendar date for at least 20 years.

The next sequential date is coming January 2, 2034.

And if you are waiting for 1-2-3, that will return
on January 2, 2103, another 89 years away.

I have always found it fun to notice the sequences in dates but I do not have any sequential dates matching up with significant life events -- that I am aware of anyway.

Nostalgic Holiday Ads

Growing up the following ads were everywhere in the local and national newspapers and magazines:

Thanks to and magazine for the above ads. These familiar ads eventually faded out of use just as the glass bottles did.

I still prefer soft drinks in glass bottles over aluminum cans or plastic bottles. But even though I still see some ads showing glass bottles, at least here in California they are non-existent -- except for some specialty ones and for some bottled in Mexico.

I remember working in supermarkets in the 50s and having to "work" the bottle rooms. Growing up bottles got a 2 cent deposit charged to each which meant that people brought the empties back to a store that sold that brand.

And the deposit money came in handy for us kids when we found them in quantitiy and took the time to lug them back . . . saving the environment too.

The Status of the Search

I did a lot of miscellaneous searching this week without really any major or significant finds. Some of the surnames that I worked on:  HILES, BOULDRON, BUMGARDNER, CALHOUN, CLARK, CARR, DEARING, DUPLER, FILLMORE, GILLETT, KETCHUM, LEHMAN, MARTIN, NELSON, RAHMAN, ROT, SHAFFER, SWANSON and a few others

I also attended a very good webinar this week. The webinar was all about searching North Carolina relatives -- unfortunately there are very few (if any) relatives from our tree from North Carolina.

However, there was still much to be learned because of the process that can be utilized for other areas and places.

Early Gifting for Some . . .

Dino got his wish yesterday. We decided that it could not wait until the 25th  . . .

We gave Dino a peanut butter flavored bone on June 24th of this year and he has chewed it almost everyday since.

The stubby bone on the right is all that is left of a very large Nyla-bone pictured new on the left.

It wasn't only for Dino in that he brings it to one of us to hold while he gnaws away and that little nub was getting too difficult to hold. Now he has about six months to chew on the new chew and that's pretty good -- just two bones a year.

We haven't told him but he is getting an Elk antler too as a special gift item . . . for Christmas.

The Special Holiday Decorations

We're old . . . for the first time in 7 decades there will not be a large full size Christmas tree in our living area at home.

We are very content with our holiday decor this year and as someone on TV mentioned earlier this week, the smaller sized tree just makes those gifts all that larger . . .

And with the ever present Yankee Candle -- Christmas Wreath flavor -- burning, it smells like Christmas too.

So, we are set for Christmas in terms of decorations -- we do have a little shopping yet to do, but mostly waiting for UPS, Fedex and the USPS to bring us stuff that we have ordered.

So that is a bit of our week, we hope yours is going well too! See you all in a few!

It is Saturday night, we might have burgers, or then again we might have fish . . .