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Monday, February 29, 2016

Leaplings, Lions vs Lambs, Oscars

Okay, so I delayed this post so that I could postmark it 29 February . . . how often do we get that opportunity. About every four years and this is the year. I wanted to report on how many folks in our tree have/had birthdays on this date but, I will have to search out the "leaplings" at a later date.

But I can say that since it is the 29th of February that would make tomorrow March 1st and we know about the saying "in like a lion, out like a lamb".  It must be a statement dependent on geography because just here in the USA there would be many different takes on that.

Above is the current and six more days of the weather forecast for Healdsburg. Today is really a perfect weather day but it is not really very "lionish" tomorrow and the coming days, but neither is it "lambish". So for us here, it is "in like a lion" tomorrow March 1st.

So like a lot of other folks we watched the "Oscars".  We kept our record of the last few years by having not seen any of the nominated pictures as yet. I'm not sure if we have even seen any of last years nominated pictures yet . . .

But we have seen the above "Oscars" however not in person. We have sought out the Oscars within our tree and they are listed above. Out of about 10,000 + names in our tree, I could find but 16 Oscars.

I'm sure that there are more but I just have not found them as yet. Oscar has not been a real popular name in the last almost one hundred years, in our family. Most of the Oscars that I could identify were born in the 1800s.

I remember one time while taking a school photo, the photographer called me "Oscar" to get me to smile -- it worked. It still would, and especially at the DMV I need someone to call me "Oscar" to get that smile . . .

There is a great deal of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment when one satisfactorily finishes doing their income taxes.

Unfortunately -- I do not have that sense of accomplishment yet as I am still searching our records for the pieces of information that have to be entered.

I do have some figures and information entered and thank goodness for an electronic format to enter these things in a piecemeal fashion.

I like to "mull" over the categories and I am not in any hurry to "get them done". If I push the "send" button on April 15th that is fine with me.

This year though because of "Federal" holidays, for most of us the due date will be April 18th. The folks in Massachusetts and Maine have until the 19th of April.

Just how would we spend our time if some of the current candidates get their way and abolish the IRS. Maybe working at part time jobs to make up any differences . . . however, the prospect of a post card sized return is appealing.

Currently on our nightstand is the new book to the left. We did the "flip over all the pages" left in our previous book (like the way the old "What's My Line" show used to do) and we started Andy & Don.

Of course we both remember that show very well and are now enjoying the behind the scenes activities that recall many of the episodes.

It is fun to see pictures of Andy & Opie and realize that today Opie is a big-time director of many great films.

And of course while reading about Andy & Don their family history comes into play. It is fascinating to find out some of those details.

Also when you find out how "little" money they each made in the beginning of their careers you realize that maybe your own family was in about the same situation as well.

 Super Tuesday is tomorrow and by that I mean, "Finding Your Roots" is on.

This week it features Lidia of "Lidia's Kitchen" fame. We have enjoyed watching her cooking show for years.

And now we will learn about some of her family. We do know some about her son, who was on "Master Chef" for a few years.

There probably will be two others as well.

And can you stand-it, more political action tomorrow.

It is almost a shame that it seems like "how low can you go" is the norm for today's experience.

We will be watching the events (as if we had a choice) and just like the "Oscars", it will get tedious I'm sure and then again, maybe not.

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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

So, How's By You Then, Hey?

Growing up we might have heard that kind of greeting when we were out and about. I did hear something like that the other day and it got me thinking . . . and then my attention went with  the weather this week. It rained heavily for a couple more days (topped off the pool for us) this week and now it is nice and sunny supposedly for the next week.

The rain and now the warming sun has tricked some blossoms to begin to appear in mid-February. The California poppies are beautiful and they open and close each day. There are several more buds and stuff starting to bloom as well. It won't be long now . . .

I watched two Legacy Family Tree Webinars this week, but the one on Friday was pretty much about what I spend a lot of time doing.

FANs -- Friends/Family, Associates & Neighbors. These are the folks that populate the world of our ancestors.

Beth Foulk gave a very thorough presentation on ways to find FANs and then to utilize their information to document our own direct relatives.

I learn so much from Legacy Webinars -- the one last week on Wednesday was also one that was top-notch. Thomas MacEntee, who is always excellent, gave one of the most illuminating presentations  on the software WORD and how to use it and how to deal with some of the most common problem areas in that program.

The webinar series is free to see and worth so much. The webinars are lined up for the rest of the year and they keep adding additional ones as well. What a deal!

But, while I was searching through Ancestry this week (as usual) I always go through the section that lists the hints, and specifically I look through the photo hints. And to my amazement I spotted a newly posted picture of one of my relatives from my Mother's side.

It is a picture that I had not seen before and actually of someone that I had never seen photographed before. (Speaking of my Mother, it would have been her 104th birthday yesterday.) And so of course I am referring to the Bumgardner branch of our tree.

Above is the information and the photo of my Gr Gr Grandfather, George Franklin Bumgardner.
I sure hope that we can substantiate that this photograph is really of George. The photo is quite distinctive and George is a strikingly appearing person.

The photo actually appeared in the tree of a 3rd cousin of ours and I have thanked her first for sharing it and hopefully there might be photos of other Bumgardner relatives available as well. So this is actually my Grandfather's (Dayton Bumgardner) grandfather.

I have been to visit Muscatine, Iowa and have seen where his church is and where he and his wife are buried. George was an impressive achiever and so it should be that his likeness is as impressive as it is as well.

So, needless to say, it has me off and running in the Bumgardner direction. I am reviewing much of the documentation that I have accumulated over the years. More on that to follow in time.

So, currently on our nightstand is the book to the left. We are not too sure how long it will be there . . . as so far we are struggling with reading it.

First, it is a novel, and we have not read that many novels. Secondly, while it has been highly recommended by close friends, we will continue for a few more tries at "getting into it".

We do have several other books that may eventually temp us to "set this one aside" for possibly finishing at a later time.

We'll see . . .

Coming up next Tuesday evening will be another episode in the series "finding your roots" with Henry Louis Gates.

This next showing will feature Gloria Steinem and two others as is usually the case.

Bernie Sanders, in one of his admissions to a crowd of followers, says that Gloria Steinem has appointed him an "honorary woman" status . . . it did not help him in the Nevada caucus though . . .

This series by Gates continues to teach and to entertain. I will miss it when it is done for the season.

That's a bit of our week. And to finish in the style of our start -- "Ya, we'll see yas, in a few though"

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Horse & Carriage (Go together like . . .)

And what could be more appropriate for Valentine's Day than Love & Marriage. This is a big day for most of us and for our loved ones. I remember those Valentine's days growing up and going to school where most of the kids shared cutout valentine cards with most others in the class. And who could forget the candy treats . . . some of the traditions continue -- do they still share cards at schools.

Of course most of us know the history of this day but we celebrate it anyway and in our own way determined by our current circumstances.  The inscribed necklace, for example, given to my loved one has a multiple purpose . . . and I even received one as well.

What could be a more natural extension of
Valentine's Day than the expression to the

One thing leads to another and before we know
it we're talking DNA.

A cousin asked me this week about any results
that I might have received from Ancestry DNA.

Well, I have received a lot of results:

First, I have a map showing where most of my ancestors came from -- and no surprise here really -- 100% European.

But the secret is to figure which ancestor came from what country and when.

New in Ancestry DNA is something called "DNA Circles".

To the right is one of several that are shown for me.

It is a circle for my paternal side and is one including the folks who relate to William Abrigen Gillett and his wife Juliette Head.

So far Ancestry DNA has identified eight other Ancestry members who are related to both William Abrigen Gillett, Juliette Head and to me.

Ancestry called this the "Lloyd Hampton Hiles" Family Group.

The work is still in "Beta", but there are results that may lead to uncovering other "cousins" of mine.

Some of the cousins shown in the circle I am already familiar with, but there are some that are new to me.

This is all new to me and it is likely going to be a really nice feature.

For example, the left circle above is identified as someone named "dmjenkins53" and I have no idea who that person is -- except now because Ancestry is including this circle information I can see the most likely relationship that I share with "dmjenkins53" as shown in the graph to the right.

So, it appears that our relationship is that of 3rd cousin -- one generation difference. And the line
for both of us is shown.

This is very helpful information and hopefully it will lead to communication between previously unidentified cousins.

So far I have nine DNA Circles to explore and as more and more people get DNA tested through Ancestry there will be most likely more and more discoveries.  Ahhh, technology!

This week I also did a ton of "adding resources" as identified by the shaky leaves in Ancestry.

The book to the left is "on our nightstand" currently. Someone loaned us the "large print version" and it is very nice to read with the large font.

The negative is that the book is just shy of 800 pages so it seems to weigh a lot too.

The book is really written well with every detail you could imagine about this heretofore relatively unknown (to me anyway) sport.

It takes place in Seattle in the 1930s and eventually in Berlin, at the 1936 Olympics.

Having lived in the Seattle area for 10 years, and Gail having grown up there, we are familiar with the geographical references.

We are about two thirds of the way through the book and are just starting the most interesting section -- to us anyway -- and that is the involvement at the infamous Berlin games and the Hitler era and all.

So, what is the logical thing for us to have for a Valentine's Day dinner -- I think ribs would be the natural selection . . .

So that is what we'll do. I am going to dig through the freezer and I know that there is one more package of ribs tucked away in there (from Costco of course).

There is no major event scheduled on TV today in the sporting world but there are some movies that may be fun to watch.

We watched both debates this week. Things are heating up and I have to wonder what surprises are coming.

There are about 267 days left before the election and that time will go by quickly and before we know it we'll be addressing a new president.

Speaking of presidents, tomorrow is "Presidents Day" and that means instead of  late and mis-delivered mail there will be NO mail delivered.

So Tuesday's mail will be overloaded.

Thinking about presidents, there have only been forty some presidents since our country was founded, That number seems low to me.

Enjoy the holiday and we'll see you all "in a few"!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A DAY in the BAY . . .

It is truly amazing that for the last several weeks the weather has been cool, cold, rainy and some sporadic sunshine.  But today is like the best summer day ever, mid-seventies and sun, lots of it. How did the NFL do it? It's almost like they touched base with the folks at the Pasadena Rose Parade to get the weather order done right . . .

The news coverage around here this week has been almost all about the event. Oh sure, there were reports concerning the presidential debates, but  I think sports won out around here.

Even in the supermarket meat case, there were over-priced packages of steaks for sale that had heavy duty plastic Superbowl 50 Emblems placed inside . . . who wouldn't want that . . .

Interestingly enough around our neighborhood -- on this biggest football weekend of the year there were the sounds of local baseball practices going on directly in the fields behind our house -- the first practices of the year.

"Old Glory" is waving on numerous homes around here much like for a National Holiday. On a brief visit to the supermarket, it seemed like holiday madness in the aisles . . . chips and dips everywhere.

But the NFL Superbowl is not the only "game" in town this week.

February 3-6 in Salt Lake City were the dates for the "super bowl" of the genealogical world -- Rootstech 2016.

I did not attend in person (maybe some year) but I did do some streaming of a few of the speakers.

I have to revisit some of the offerings and follow up on some of the many blogs and reviews of the show.

Every year I learn about the many new and exciting changes coming to genealogy mostly through technology.

Off to the right are some of the many sponsors of this year's event. I usually wind up purchasing some of the newest and latest stuff . . . and this year will be no different.

Back to the NFL Superbowl though.  Because the weather is so great and because we live within driving distance to Levi Stadium (about 3 hours away), I checked into maybe picking up a couple of tickets to the game -- there are some still available.

Of course, we would want only the best and the best comes at a price:

So looking at the above ticket prices, the best at this site was $18,000 per, so two tickets would be roughly $36,000.  So, I got to thinking, maybe I'd rather buy that roadster I saw on eBay for a little over $36,500. What do you think?

Ultimately, we opted for the bowl of our choice -- a guacamole bowl with chips for less than $10.
And the game was included, in our family room, at no additional charge -- how could we go wrong with that.

The other really nice thing is that we know that we just saved a ton of money and if the game is a bust we still probably will have some chips and dip left.

During this week, and almost every week, I continue to do research on the tree.

I'm using the iPad Pro and the new Ancestry app for iPad and each morning after feeding Dino and getting him out on his "business trip", I have been following up on the many, many "shaking leaves" on the tree.

It is almost too hard to keep up with the ever-increasing number of hints (shaky leaves) that Ancestry presents to me as possible proof for our relatives lives.

I am able to update the resources for our folks and usually, when I'm done, a new bunch appears.

It's just like their TV ads depict. AND the good news this week is that Family Tree Maker, Ancestry's desktop program, which was recently announced as being discontinued, IS being purchased by another company and will continue to be offered for sale and for support.

I have used FTM since it first came out and have grown used to using it so I'm really glad to know that it will continue.

And lastly, "Finding Your Roots" continues to impress with their presentation of usually three folks and their stories.

I will find it very interesting to see the story behind this next week's feature -- John McCain.

Since the program is on PBS, it seems longer than the normal one hour shows on regular TV due to the way commercials are used or not used as the case may be.

Needless to say, though, the shows are still too short for my taste. I could easily watch double or triple the content each week.

And so that is a bit of our week, we did go to Napa for our third week of training for Paws for Healing. Next we will accompany "mentors" in possibly a local hospital to have demonstrated a typical visit. Then we will demonstrate Dino on a visit and hopefully we all will be certified for volunteering at will.

Enjoy the big game in a few hours! See you all "in a few"!