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Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Walk (in) To The Park - Giorgi that is . . .

So, where did this week disappear to . . . today is already the 120th day of this year, approximately one third of the year has already passed us by. Do the math to see how many remain . . . but I have to say that the week was really pleasant in terms of weather -- finally. One of the evenings we ventured outside and took a casual walk to a local park a few blocks away looking for maybe baseball action, which we did not find:

I have to say that Healdsburg has done a fine job on maintaining and updating this park. Our stroll was really pleasant and relaxing -- and we all (Dino too) enjoyed this break before dinner. There were not very many people out at the time we were there probably because of it being so close to the dinner hour.

Along the way in and to the park . . .

Side attractions for all tastes . . . fortunately for me I am the photographer . . . we made it home to have dinner and still catch all our favorite programs (they are all recorded anyway).

Tale of Two Webinars (this week)

Last week I attended a genealogical seminar, this week I attended two webinars. Each was important and well done in their own way. The webinar on "Reverse Genealogy" was without a doubt one of the very best webinars that I have "participated" in. The presenter was Megan Smolenyak whose most recent book -- "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing" I finished reading a few weeks ago, that too was great reading!

I have to say that I agree with the idea of going forward at times in the tree to reach the folks who have descended from our relatives and "find the living". I have done that for some time now  and with the techniques and ideas gotten from Megan's webinar (sponsored by Legacy Family Tree) I hope to be more successful and have a more exciting time of it.

The second webinar was sponsored by the "Association of Professional Genealogists" and the host was Kimberly Powell and the presenter/speaker was Judy Russell. This webinar also "blew me away" in that it talked about things that I really had not taken that seriously before hearing the "facts". I was almost not able to eat dinner after listening to the presentation (not really true, I have never not been able to eat dinner . . .) but I do have to say that what was presented will change the way I present material in a published way.
I almost thought that I would not be able to present anything of interest due to the copyright laws . . . but I am glad to know more about this important topic -- I have a lot more to learn about it though.

Dino's GDB Training This Week

Even though Dino turned 7 months old on his training night this past Tuesday night he celebrated by doing his part to "learn" things along with the other pups too. This week -- for the second week -- a newer puppy, Ian has attended the class and what a beaut he is, and they do grow so quickly. It seems that Dino was just that size a short time ago . . .

The small black lab pup is "Ian" along with some of the others as they go through some exercises on the sidewalk at a mall in Rohnert Park. Because of the image size Dino looks to be about the same size as Ian, but not so. The weather was perfect for this outside training and a good time was had by all.

Speaking of Birthdays . . .

The following are the folks from our tree that have birthdays on Saturday & Sunday (maybe my new posting day . . .) some you may want to look up to see how they are related . . . best wishes to all.

Thanks Cousin! 

You never know what will be uncovered in our genealogical searching. The following came from the tree we maintain in AND it was through a quick note from Melissa -- my second cousin -- that I was happily made aware of this connection:

Clicking on the above will show a newly uncovered connection to the "Throne" -- England of course. But thanks to Melissa for alerting me to our new-found royalty. I have not seen any "invites" to any royal ceremonies as yet, but we have moved recently and maybe they have not been forwarded as yet . . .
I have to say that the path leading through the Gillett's have really expanded our connections. Check it all out and see what your actual connection is . . .

Thursday Night Dinner

For a change I thought we'd highlight a different night's dinner and besides it looks sooo good . . .

I wish I could take credit for making these two pies -- but they were purchased, they are not DiGiornos either -- they are purchased from one of our local pizzerias, Pizza Devine,  and they were really tasty -- we actually still have a couple of slices that we may have for lunch today -- it's always good as leftovers.

The occasion came about because someone close to me bought a new iPad (finally, Gail and I have ours)
and we were going over some of the fine points of the product . . . pizza and iPads, it doesn't get much better . . .

Dino Knows (some) of the Rules

While we were eating Dino knows that he has to stay either on his pad or in his bed -- it's like putting a child in a crib or playpen (do they have those anymore). He very dutifully remained at his post while we ate, then later he was released . . .

For seven months old he does really well and he always tries.

Lastly, this week . . .

As I go about my work during the week (the work relating to the computer anyway) I always look for new ways to accomplish things. This week Google announced their newly released "Google Drive" I am looking forward to working with this and having it be useful for me.

I have signed up for this -- it replaces Google Docs. It is a cloud storage program (and much more) that competes with Dropbox and others. Everything that I have used associated with Google has been top notch but there is a learning curve -- I am on the beginnings of that curve . . . check it out, it looks like it is going to be really helpful.

And so goes our week -- we did have "burgers" last night -- tonight it is Salmon Sunday . . .

Have a good week, see you in a few!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Four Roses in Healdsburg + 1940 Census

It has been one of those weeks . . . one of the big events for our household was -- the formal closing of the current tax year -- what that means is approximately 250 plus days before the start of another tax season . . .
Gail is already cruising throughout the house with a vengeance -- it did not help that the lead story of the Sunday Parade was on "hoarding" . . . but the change in daily routines was matched by a huge change in the climate here. Starting right at the first day of freedom for Gail was the heat -- we have had a few 90 + degree days. With that it caused several roses to pop out on the walls of our garage:

We were tempted to "pick" them right away and display them but felt leaving them where they were was a better display -- for now anyway.

I didn't do "nothing" . . .

You may be wondering why there was no post yesterday, Saturday, as has been the custom for several months. But it wasn't for the fact that I wasn't "doing something". In the North Bay -- Northern California, there is very little, almost no genealogical type meetings to attend. But once a year there is a scheduled seminar put on by the Sonoma County Genealogical Society -- and I attended as I did last year as well.

This year they had four nice topics to be presented that I was certainly interested in hearing more about:

Above you can see the agenda and the topics. Connie Lenzen came from her home in Portland, Oregon and spoke on each topic. She was very well equipped to deliver the messages and the crowd enjoyed her relaxed but informative delivery. I definitely learned a lot and I am anxious to follow up on some of the many ideas that were presented. I wish there were other conferences within driving distance to take advantage of.

It also was the first day of the 140 some days that we have had Dino that we spent a big part of the day apart -- but he did have fun helping Gail "clean house" or the "pool house" anyway.

Speaking of Dino -- a glimpse into his week

Dino just keeps progressing physically and mentally so much so that he looks just like an adult dog and does not get as many "oohs and aahs" when we are out and about except from the folks that knew him "when", well as a small puppy . . . he still is under 7 months old but has changed so much.

This week we had GDB training and Dino now is one of the senior pups in his puppy group. There too he has taken the back seat to a lot of younger pups including one that just joined the group this week -- Ian a black lab pup just 10 weeks old -- really a show-stopper. Ian like most newly introduced puppies barked the first time he joined the group -- then usually no dog barks beyond that first week.

So, while I write this Dino is very patient yet he tries in mostly subtle ways to get me to join in for some fun. Today -- unlike the last two days -- we have the a/c on and he probably doesn't realize why he is not panting and collapsing on the floor as much.

Above you can see one of Dino's favorite pastimes -- chewing and then chewing two things and then relaxing and then back to chewing -- always his things though. Sometimes he brings the toy wanting me or Gail to hold it for him while he chews -- but as you can see he knows how to hold things for himself.

The Excitement of the 1940 Census

This week for most of the days I have done "indexing" of Census pages for FamilySearch. I now have nearly 2000 names that I have indexed and I have done some in about 30 states. I will try to index in as many states as I can. It is surprising I can "sense" differences in many states, especially in Alaska and Hawaii which were not states in 1940.

Then about Thursday after I had had my fill of trying to decipher poor handwriting and make sure to get names indexed properly -- I decided to take a chance and look for some of my relatives in the 1940 census. Not really expecting any luck in that I first thought I'd try my maternal Grandparents in Chicago. I chose them because I knew the address of where they would be found. Going into Ancestry's data base where they have now gotten every image scanned (not indexed yet) I put in the cross streets that were near where my Grandparents lived. Up came an Enumeration District of 42 pages for their neighborhood. Each page has approximately 40 names on it AND on the 19th page of 41 I hit pay dirt -- there in front of my blurry eyes were my Grandparents -- and others.

Above is a screen shot of that page in the census -- it is where they lived -- 2521 N Bernard St and it shows my Grandfather -- Dayton Bumgardner, his wife Hildred , my Grandmother (we called her Mamie) and my Aunt Jean and my Uncle Stewart. But -- surprisingly I found my Mother and my Brother and my Sister living there as well -- who was not there was my Father -- so, follow up is needed . . .

I was very excited about my success so I went looking for Gail's relatives. I was not so lucky to find them right away -- but I found more of them than in my line:

Looking at the above you can see her paternal & maternal Grandparents -- one set in Kent, Washington and the other in Bremerton, Washington. What is missing on Gail's side are her parents who were newly married in 1939 -- so follow-up is needed here as well.

But it is all fun to get to the search. Actually not having an index is kind of like my first days of genealogy searching (some 30 years ago) of the "jack-pot" type experience of hitting the big time after a lot of "pulls" or searching through microfilm or microfiche line by line . . .

A Brief Break and a Walk to the Healdsburg Plaza

After getting home from the seminar yesterday just to come down to earth we decided to walk to the plaza. Even though it was the hottest day so far this year it was pleasant to just walk -- slowly -- the 11 or 12 blocks. Once there a local band was finishing up a "set" in the park -- which was "okay" with us. We just sat and watched the tourists and others milling around the square. After watering Dino we headed back.

Some of the experience of the walk -- a bench, some water & actually some frozen yogurt, some artwork and speaking of 1940 -- a beautiful Chrysler that was probably somewhere in 1940 . . .

From My Cousin Vinnie Bruce

One of the very nice things of doing family research is meeting and communicating with newly found cousins. Bruce is one of those found a few years ago. And we send things back and forth from time to time. And I have that same relationship with several other "found" cousins.

Bruce knows that I like photography so he sent along a series of photos he found on the web that are really very interesting and they happen to all have a 1940 flavor but the reason he found them was because he was looking for photos that used a larger format (a 4x5) and used Kodachrome -- he found several and they are crisp and clear. You can go to either of the above locations and see them all but I thought it would be fun to expand on one of them -- a picture of a young man and his wife and a baby taken in -- guess what year -- 1940. The photo gave the name of the man -- so just for fun and with my recent success in the 1940 census I thought I'd see if I could find them . . . the name of the place intrigued me "Pie Town, New Mexico".

I looked and looked and after going through a lot of Enumeration Districts -- none of which mentioned "Pie Town" I was about to give up when I found them. Earlier I had also found an additional photo that included the whole family. Above you can see the census page and can put names to the members of the family. From the photo I get a "sense" of that family  . . . in 1940. It would be interesting to see the "sense" today.

Lastly -- the Birthdays from the Tree

Because I wasn't here yesterday I'm including the folks from our tree that celebrate birthdays for both today and yesterday -- and if interested check out the folks on the website if you don't know how they are related.

And so ends another week -- we are going to have BLTs tonight AND we did have burgers last night.

We hope your week has been as good -- see you in a few -- actually probably fewer than last week . . .

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Difference of a Day . . . in Healdsburg

Just yesterday and the several days preceding it was nasty outside with rain, cold, drizzle, wind and just plain gloominess. But not today! This is what a lot of folks will say is "the reason for living here . . ." It is surprising what the change can do in the way we feel and act -- even Dino this morning was more energetic and playful in his early morning routine. There is one person in our household that while glad that the weather is "looking good" hopes that in five days it will look even better. I have to say though that even if the rain returned in her case "it still would be looking better" because she will be able to see it from the house and yard -- the work season for her will be over for a spell . . .

The above is a collage of around our house and yard this morning. Notice the blooming of several of the trees. We are not sure what all the trees are but there is an apple tree and what we think is a dogwood and the tree by the street we are not sure of . . . but we are sure that they look spectacular in-bloom. But what is not seen are any clouds in the sky so far this morning. Nothing but blue-skies . . . Dino is even in two of the above pics, looking out the front door and then just barely in the middle picture on the right. The forecast is -- I believe -- for this type of day for the next several days -- it is about time.

100 Years Ago this Day

It is hard to think of the accident at sea that happened on April 14, 1912. So much has been written of the events that it almost seems unreal. This morning on the news there was a story of a married couple who did not know it when they married, but each of them had relatives (ancestors actually) on board ship.Both ancestors survived the disaster somewhat.

In recent months we have seen other ship disasters not quite as significant as the Titanic though. There still remains a lot to do with respect of the Titanic including trying to piece the ship back together and bring it up. It will be interesting to learn more of the secrets that for over 100 years have been hidden. I do not think we had any relatives or ancestors from our family tree aboard. But we could have . . .

50 Years Ago this Year

It is also unbelievable how time goes so fast! But here is news of a more positive nature -- 50 years ago, my wife, Gail was part of a group that has continued to influence her outlook on life and has been a positive influence. I speak of her membership (and continuing support of) Gamma Phi Beta her sorority in college. She was actually president of her chapter while at the University of Puget Sound so many years ago, yet seemingly like yesterday to hear her remark about "alumni news" and all.

The above is the letter congratulating Gail on her anniversary and the pin she received for being a "golden member". My congratulations go to her as well for staying in touch with her sorority and supporting it.

Birthdays from our Tree

We have eight folks from our tree that were born on this day -- we wish them all the best:

April 14 is so close to another "notorious date" and it probably plays a role in the celebrations . . .

The Day Following April 14 . . .

Well, the day is normally known as "tax day" and this year it falls on a Sunday, so that moves tax day to the next available day which would have been Monday -- but that is a holiday in Washington, D.C. so -- that makes it Tuesday the 17th  . . . nice. I suspect most people though are so ingrained with the 15th that they will have completed their returns already . . . Gail will be able to tell us.

One of the Ways I Spent My Time This Week . . .

I was fortunate to have been able to "clear my plate" so that I could actively work on things that needing working on . . . and for a person interested in genealogy that could only mean one thing this past week -- the release of the 1940 Federal Census data and the need to "index" the 300+ million names.
So in between certain unavoidable activities like laundry and food prep, GDB training and a few others, I have turned my spare moments to volunteering my index fingers punching in the names of folks from 1940 from a variety of states:

The above shows the states that I have worked on and the numbers of names that I have indexed. After getting a slow start (the first two days I couldn't get access and the weekend I took off) I have input 985 names from 16 different states. Of course I hoped that when I worked on a "batch" from states where we have relatives I would find some of ours -- that didn't happen. But I certainly did learn from the different areas -- you get a sense of what the country was like from reading the census data.

One fact that I overlooked when indexing Alaska was the fact that it was not a state in 1940, but still a territory. It should have dawned on me when I saw a different format for the census but it didn't register until later.The same would be true of Hawaii -- still a territory in 1940.

I will try again this week to do more indexing and my goal eventually is to index in all 48 states and 2 territories -- we'll see . . . soon I hope to find some of you (you know who you are) in the census . . .

The White House

This being an election year and all I have received a lot of information regarding a huge variety of things. Some I pay attention to and some I "file" for later consideration. But when I receive an email from the "White House" I look at it:

The above two calculators came announced in email and for fun you could access the site and check them out. The first will tell you approximately where all your tax dollars go -- sort of a receipt for what you have paid for . . . the second one will tell you how you relate in terms of your tax bracket to others -- meaning mostly millionaires . . . if you want to check them out click on the site: The White House  when you get to the page you can click on "go to the website" and find the calculators.

A Couple of Days in Dino's Week

Dino gets a lot of our time and attention and this week was no different. We went to GDB training on Tuesday evening -- at the Santa Rosa Mall. We first walked as a group of about 10-12 puppies in training around the streets surrounding the mall to test traffic awareness and people awareness on the sidewalks. Then we went inside the mall and visited several stores and locations within, we also did some of the basics like -- sit, down, stay etc. Every puppy was well behaved and Dino was too.

At home Dino continues to be really well behaved -- he has never barked even once at home, though dogs living next to us on each side do frequently. He respects our property and only chews his own things.

Here Dino is in a variety of activities -- his favorite is probably power multi-chewing. In the above pic he has two bones to chew in his mouth and loves to do that. The "Easter-Bunny" dogs are other GDB and Dino was not in that group . . . he is looking pretty good for 6 1/2 months old.

Great News from a Cousin

I wondered why I had not heard from a certain cousin in a long tome -- and this may be the reason. She has recently published a book. Not just any book, but a book concerning HILES. I have to say that I have not read the book yet because I just ordered the book yesterday and I believe that it just was published earlier this week. So a huge "congratulations" go to Terese Hiles Olson (a third cousin of mine) for this accomplishment. My copy of the book is not slated to arrive until later this month and then I'll be able to comment on it more.

In the meantime if you are interested in ordering her book (and what Hiles relative wouldn't) then here is the site to go to:   Terese Hiles Olson New Book    Check it out!

Lastly -- The Business Cards You've Been Waiting For . . .

Gail and I don't have "regular" jobs ( well she has a regular seasonal job), so often we are scribbling out our names and contact information for others -- which is so unprofessional . . . so to remedy that we now have "real business-like" cards  . . . let us know if we should send you one  . . .

I'd say pretty professional . . .

With that, it is time to prepare for the "Saturday-night burger fest". Have a good week, see you in a few!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Arrival of Spring & 1940 Census in Healdsburg

What a week! For those of us who did not  head out the door on Monday morning for an assigned work location, we were treated to something else -- the arrival of the long awaited 1940 Federal Census . . . but the reality set in quickly about entertaining any hope of seeing the census that first day. Besides I did have other assigned duties -- the weekly laundry -- it being Monday and all. But if ever there was the excitement of delayed gratification this was the moment. So we did the laundry and did other mundane things. And also we did fit in a walk to see the emergence of springtime here.

Dino and I walked to the town plaza and back and along the way we stopped to smell shoot some pics of the colors along Matheson and the return route on North. The array of flowers and buds are astounding. I did detect some fragrances along the way, but I think allergies have kicked in as well so I didn't experience every scent.

This week was so different than last week because it did have some days that were not rainy -- though it is being predicted that next week could be more rain than sun. I enjoy all the seasons and especially Spring.

Status of the Indexing of the 1940 Census

On Monday I attempted to access the site where I volunteer to do indexing -- -- however the cursor just spun around and around. So I wandered to another site to maybe "peek" at the census and Chicago in particular -- forget that. Apparently there were (as predicted) millions of hits seeking admittance to the census information.

So I waited until Tuesday and tried again -- to no avail. The sites were still not giving me access. So I did other genealogical things and enjoyed that too. I rummaged around through various old newspapers on the two sites for that that I subscribe to . . . and found a few articles about people in our tree -- to me that is rewarding. I see a slice of their life at various times and often I learn of things in their lives that I never knew of before. I even found the wedding announcement for my wife's first marriage . . . but I did know of that.

Wednesday came around -- should I try again or skip it again -- I could not skip it so I tried and guess what -- this time I gained access to the indexing site and downloaded a batch and started to index. The first location I chose to index was in Minnesota -- though we don't have too many ancestors there I thought it would be fun. The page that randomly was assigned to me came through nice and clear -- the downside was that it was for the inhabitants of a hotel and that meant almost every line of the 40 line page was a different surname whereas in a regular census page it is usually made up of families and family members most having the same surname and maybe ten or so surnames, sometimes much less with a large family.

The above shows the seven states that I worked on this week. The other lines have to do with other indexing projects that I have participated on. The FamilySearch indexing software is really easy and fun to use. As I type in the information most of the repeat typing is anticipated by the program and supplied. It is fun to gain a sense of the families as I plug in their information and make assumptions about their lives.

I have not attempted to index today as yet because likely there are a ton of people who actually work at other things Monday through Friday that are taking a crack at it . . . I can wait until Monday.

A Quick Look at the Family Website

There are a ton of April birthdays but only three celebrate on this day. So I have included a screen shot showing those three and also a peek at some of the articles that I have recently added to individuals in our tree.

  If you want to check out the above and other facts regarding the inhabitants of the tree, check out the website:   Dan's Family Website

Rain -- No Rain, Baseball

This is our first springtime living in this house. We are enjoying the "back yard". Across the fence from us are two baseball diamonds. For weeks now they have been grooming the diamonds and fixing them up to play ball on.We have had so much rain that the opening ceremonies to open the season scheduled for last weekend were delayed until April 13 -- this next Friday.
The day after the season was to begin -- the sun came out and though we have had some rain since then baseball again is being played everyday. If I position myself at the corner of our deck, I can see almost the whole diamond and observe the practices and hear the "crack" or "twang" of the bats.

The above shows some of the action as I sit on the edge of our deck. The new longer range zoom helps a bit as well. Next week it will be fun to see the dedication of the remodeled stadium -- hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Another Perspective 

From time to time as I wander around the internet I capture interesting things -- and this is one of those captures. This was an "off" week in Dino's GDB training, so I included one of my own pictures of him -- just taken as I write this -- the rest belong to Cute  (click to check out their site).

If you click on the above you'll see Dino's commentary as I write this blog. He is so funny sometimes as he often flops over on his back to nap or just reflect on things with a different perspective. The other photos are self explanatory.

My New Venture

I have been accused of "having too much time" on my hands . . . but that too will change in about 12 or 13 days . . . but more about that in another post. So, what have I done now -- I thought for the heck of it I would create another website. While trying to get to the indexing site and failing that and then watching a couple of Webinars I got adventuresome and started clicking away at options while on another site (just for fun) and one thing led to another and voila:

So please check it out -- Dan's Second Website

This is really "just for fun" and we'll see how it progresses. But it has only been up and running for a couple of days and the bottom graph shows some intersting stats about where the visitors have come from.  The internet is sure an amazing place . . . please let me know your reactions and/or suggestions, thanks.

For the Fun of It

I now have two reading instruments -- the original iPad and recently a Kindle Touch. They both serve different purposes and I use them both everyday. I am already hooked on these electronic devices and the iPad is so unique for so many things while the Kindle I can use just for reading. There is nothing like just curling up with a Kindle to read a book -- well not exactly, it has taken real patience to learn the peculiarities of the Kindle Touch, what to do when and what not to do -- but overall I like it for reading at night or outside.
It is said that the "new car smell" is very pleasing and I have to agree. And there is something missing from the Kindle and iPad when used as a substitute for an actual hard cover book -- the "book smell".I was blown away when I happened on the following as I read one of my favorite blogs --

If you click on the above you'll see what I mean. Someone thinks of everything. I learn so much from Dick Eastman's blog every day. It is one of the first blogs I check each day. You can check it out for yourself and see the variety of things he publishes. Dick Eastman's Blog


That basically is a taste of our week. Gail continues to put in time down at the "play yard" but that is drawing to a natural ending -- soon -- for this year anyway. For the rest of us -- Dino and Me, we just keep plugging away. Dino has a way of dealing with things his own way -- it is hard to believe that in just six months time he can do some of the things he does:

Here he is with the end of his tail firmly in his mouth -- he loves it when he can accomplish that He also feels accomplished when he manages to get an earful too . . .

So we hope your week goes well and we'll plan to see you in a few . . . (burgers tonight . . .)