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Sunday, October 30, 2016

October Surprises & Then Some

It would be a surprise if the Cubs actually wound up as winners of 2016 World Series at this point -- actually that could only happen in November now . . . more about that later.

With 8 days til the Presidential election could there be any more surprises. It isn't the first election year that unknown facts were uncovered close to the balloting time, but it seems that it has reached new lows.

To me it is surprising that it is already day 302 in this year. It is surprising also that many merchants seemingly have skipped focusing on anything but Christmas sales and we have not even celebrated the Halloween holiday.

The weather this last week has been surprising too -- a lot of rain, and that is such a good thing for us.
If the weather continues tomorrow (Halloween) like it is right at this moment, we'll have a large bowl of candy to eat even though we should not . . .the last few years we have experienced "low" trick or treater traffic and if it were pouring I suspect a whole lot less. (I like the M&Ms . . .)

I'm surprised after all the wind and heavy rain that any leaves are left on our trees -- but there is an ample supply. The rest are plastered on our decks and sidewalks offering the risk of slip-sliding when we go out with Dino on his business trips (he prefers company most of the time).

Tuesday of this week it was coolish, dreary, rainy and otherwise inspiring.

So what to do -- make a pot (sensible size) of chili.

Along with that make a pan of homemade cornbread . . .

Then wait for the first game of the World Series to record (about an hour's worth) and then sit down and enjoy all.

The chili and the cornbread were great, the game not so. We were routing for the Cubs, but, hey it was only Game One . . .

Back in my working life, I was (not at first) involved in "management" of people and later of installations of communications networks. among other things.

Gail, in her working days was involved in the management of kids (at school) and later of people as well who managed kids . . .

In our retirement work, we both are involved in a variety of management activities that fill our days.

One example -- you can't laugh or trivialize this -- is "battery management":

Our lives are so often these days surrounded by the need to have the correct batteries at the correct time. I can't think of a day that somehow doesn't include the impact of a battery in some way.

For example, when we had two cars, since we only ever drove one at a time, the other car's battery would often deteriorate to the point of needing a "jump". This was a hassle and we solved that problem by becoming a "one-car family".

One day last week, we were jarred awake by a phone call at 6 am. This is a rare occurrence because we have a telephone system that restricts calls until a "decent" hour in the morning. Some callers I have programmed to be let through and this was one of those callers -- ADT (security).

It appears that they (ADT) received notice that our alarm system was sending the message that our hallway breakage alarm was sounding meaning a probable break-in was happening and they wanted us to confirm or deny that before they sent the police.

I of course did not know the nature of the alarm so I went scurrying out in the cold darkness to check. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, but the thought that "something" set off the alarm bothered me.

It turns out per discussion with ADT that it might have been the fact that it could have been that the battery in the hallway device was getting low and needed replacing. And that turned out to be the case. Something wrong with that system of being jarred awake at 6 AM to change a battery . . .

There are many more examples of issues with batteries, but I'll save that for another post. Next time I'll share another "management" concern of retirees . . .

During the ongoing search, I have discovered some new cousins.

Actually they are not actually new -- they have been there all along -- I just was not aware of them.

They descend from the marriage of one of George & Sarah Bumgardner's daughters (Mary Mollie) to Thomas Hoopes in the mid 1800s.

Following down that branch there are several newly uncovered cousins - many still living in Washington State.

I've added them to the Hiles tree at

I look forward to finding out the stories that surround these families. I have uncovered one very unfortunate story related to one of the families and when I complete all the details I will share that.

Well, this could be the last game of the Series if the Cubs don't work their magic.

Two powerhouse pitchers are pictured to the right and one of them might be the hero of the series.

The Cubs now have to win all three remaining games and if they are to win, it will be on-the-road, in November.

Being down 3 games to 1 is almost certainly a no-brainer in some ways -- but it is not impossible.

Apparently in 1979 e.g. the Pittsburgh Pirates were down 3 games to 1 with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Pirates came back to win the next three games to take the series. There are other examples as well -- not too many, but some.

So, what time is it? The picture to the left pretty much tells the story. For a little while after the clocks are changed there is still some confusion -- especially with Dino who goes by an internal time-piece and is pretty much "right-on".

But Daylight Saving Time ends next Sunday morning at 2 AM -- so most of us change our clocks on Saturday night (Nov 5)so we wake up to the correct time.

Fortunately, we have our nightstand clocks changed for us via satellite and we have our smart watches changed as well via the internet and the TV and our computers are auto corrected too.

That just leaves the 20 or 30 miscellaneous clocks for us to manually change -- we do that over time.
And hopefully we catch them all.

Lastly be careful "who" you search for . . . the illustration I'm sure has happened:

That was a bit of our week. We are out of chili and cornbread for tonight's game, so we'll have fish and chips . . . See you all "in a few" !

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" !