rowanf: (child rowan broom)

Originally uploaded by rowanf.
It took me awhile to decide what to say for Speak Out with Your Geek Out.

I mean, WoW is certainly easy but I am not really a major WoW geek... I just play WoW. And, erm, read a lot of WoW blogs. And take lots of screenshots. And, erm, I did wear a Hawaiian shirt to work today that bears the Horde symbol. But still.

And whilst in the past I have been very involved in Science Fiction fandom... I just haven't been the last few years. Ditto Second Life. Ditto Geocaching. Ditto Where's George. Ditto just about everything. Where has my geek gone!

Well, being sick for the last year has definitely put a dint in my levels of enthusiasm for anything/everything. So I am going to reach back and talk about genealogy. Which I have pursued most of my life and which has led to quite a bit of geekery over the years.

My mother was the family historian for her family most of my life (I've taken it over now) and I remember as a child being taken to the National Archives and into various local history places looking for muster rolls, census information and all the minutae of the family history geekdom. I remember the excitement when researchers like Vera Apperson who compiled "The Apperson Family in America" came by our house to chat with Mum.

Whenever I visit a new city I look to see if there are particular archives or centers there that might be useful. When the Special Libraries Association had an annual meeting Indianapolis I spent a couple days before the conference in the State Library pouring over Quaker Meeting records. Once when EasterCon (the British SF convention) was on the Isle of Jersey I talked my Mum into coming with me so we could go to the Archives there and research our Poindexter ancestors. (And may I say that was a MOST AMAZING experience as they brought out actual medieval documents for us to look at with no more than gloves to keep the oils off. And there is a stately home of our ancestors cousins set up as a living history centre that we visited and knew our ancestors had trod there before us.)

Whenever I meet someone with an interesting name I just can't resist starting a conversation about origins. If someone mentions doing genealogy the world just lights up. Even if you are looking totally different countries for totally unrelated surnames, there is a bond amongst those who care about history and family in this particular way.

And then along came the internet! People began to share information and find distant cousins with the click of a button. Naturally I set up my own family site and became the moderator of my family surname lists on Rootsweb (back in the days when it was geeks and hadn't been bought by I did a county study, creating a database of all the people (of European descent) in Cooper County, MO using a pair of biographies that had been done in 1883 and 1919. I corresponded with people all over the world. I still do.

And now there is genetic genealogy! I got my brother tested so that I would have both Y-line and mt-DNA info. Our Y-Line Haplogroup is I2b1 which is mostly found in Scotland and Switzerland last time I looked. Like 70% of Western Europeans, our mitochondrial line is Haplogroup H (with three HVR1 differences from CRS).

And so, that is my enthusiasm, my geekery that I would like to share on this first day of the Speak Out.
rowanf: (Default)

Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Yesterday I got a treasure, a photo of my great, great-grandmother! About a month ago I got a note from Coty's Treasures offering to sell it to me. Of course I went for it. I have very few artifacts of my ancestry. I do think my mother has a copy of this picture already, I recognized Susan right away. I noted at Samhain that I needed to redo my ancestor pictures. Now I have one more for the mix.
rowanf: (Danse Macabre)
Today I had planned to work and then go to the Spring Rites at Menlo College. I missed it last year but was looking forward to seeing folks. But this morning my body was just rebelling and I slept in, took the morning off and the afternoon's work was enough to do me in. *sigh* My shoulder *is* better. I just is healing more slowly than my impatience demands.

So I was home to go inworld at 6pm to hear a talk on researching pensions by Krag Mariner who, irl, is the owner of Heritage Books. He does wonderful genealogy lectures inworld and now has a genealogy bookstore there. It is really just displays of covers that link one out to the Heritage Books site, but still it is kind of cool. I've been a customer of Heritage for years, of course. Not that I've had a lot of time for genealogy lately.

Tomorrow after work I'm supposed to have a Solo Librarians meeting but I'm leaning toward begging off on that. In fact, I brought my search database home and I have a full day's worth of work I could do from home. Driving, holding my arm out to hold the steering wheel, is one of the hard things. And I *really* am going to do my last stint of docenting on Friday because all the other volunteers, including the director, are working on the flower exhibition. And then go to a meeting inworld and attend a double elevation that evening. And yes, if I stop cranking, the world will stop spinning. I know it isn't entirely sensible and I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, but there you have it. Being an eldest child with Sun, Mercury, Venus, North Node & Chiron in Capricorn it is just my nature. I just have to work out how to get my recalcitrant body to cooperate.
rowanf: (child rowan broom)
I saw this in the journal of [ profile] herbmcsidhe and just had to play. *grin*

Famous people related to my mother - Mark Twain, of course, I knew about that. But Sir Arthur John Evans is her 7th Cousin 3 times removed, how cool is that?

Famous people related to my father -- who is also related to Sir Arthur John Evans but by an entirely different route. And they are both related to Lucille Ball. Gee this is fun!
rowanf: (Abi nature)
Well, I'm back home (yay waterbeds) and catching up on sleep and reconnecting with my sweeties. My car has four new tires (grumble, why did I need to replace four tires at 28,000 miles?!) and so far I'm not needing to report for my jury duty. Yesterday morning was incredibly stressful, complete with road-rage maniac trying to drive me off the road on the way to the dealer with the knowledge that one of my tires had steel belts sticking out of the side and might blow out. I was shaking with adrenalin by the time I got to the dealership! I was really glad [ profile] mr_kurt was driving the rest of the way to work.

I blew off dancing Monday because it turns out our performance this Thursday was likely to start at 10pm or later and I really just couldn't do that. So I went in and got to bed early. I really support Fontain and Code Pink, but that is just past my bedtime. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a morning person.

The Missouri State Archives has put up more death certificates so I spent my lunch hour yesterday transcribing several. Cracked a longstanding mystery about Melissa Jane Koontz Amick - was Koontz her maiden name or a prior marriage as her marriage record calls her "Mrs." but no prior marriage record has been found. Her death certificate says her father is Benj. Koontz. And, with that info, I found him in the 1850 Census in Cooper Co., MO, with her at 5 years old living with him. Go me. She was born a Koontz. The other genealogists among my friends will understand why I'm telling you this. *grin*

Kurt & I found a cache right by 280 on the way home yesterday for my "Westward Ho" cache for the Quest. Only one more cache and I'm done. I'll either get that today (if I don't go up to the ICP for this month's potluck) or tomorrow. I really hope I can go to the potluck! Rachel Antell screens her new documentary about Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim women activists in this country, called "Acting on Faith: Women & New Religious Activism in America". We shall see!

I mentioned last month seeing Tom Mahon's one-man play and that I didn't connect to it. I have since been reading his blog and have really been enjoying his essays. I have asked him to do a reading of an expanded very of his " Of religions-yet-to-be" essay for Interfaith Today. His current essay on "'Religion' made religion irrelevant" has sparked some interesting discussions on the URI list where it was posted in response to an artice where the National Council of Churches blamed the media for making religion irrelevant.

Oh, and I have been having fun with the new icon/avatar generators at Abi Station. I don't much like charicatures but the seated ones are a bit of fun!
rowanf: (child rowan broom)
I'm glad I didn't have anything on for last night. I did have a slump at about 3pm but not as bad as in past days and I made it to the end of the work day. Then made it home through the truly awful traffic (caused by a traffic fatality so someone had an abysmally worse day and I shouldn't complain). I detoured through Willow Glen and shopped at La Villa Deli and got a stuffed zucchini for Russell and a stuffed eggplant for me. It was yummy and I didn't have to cook. We vegged out and watched Van Helsing which I still think is so awful as to be hilarious and Russell just thought was awful. Oh well. Kate Beckinsale in tight clothes is a theme with me, I guess.

I ran across a patent today that featured "a multifunctional personal portable digital image capturing device" - known to laypeople as a camera. Lawyer language makes me crazy. Oh well. If they didn't obfuscate so much my work would be that much less valuable. But it isn't any wonder when I'm sick and off my game that my ability to think in obfuscatory ways diminishes.

A nice article in Genealogy Magazine - Weaselhead, Devil and Drunkard: Surnames Originating As Insults. I don't know that any of mine are insults. The only surname I really know a "meaning" fo is Poindexter which means strong right arm so the Poingdestres may have been into brawling at some point. Or may have been good supports for their King/Lord. My maiden name Comer may come from Comber and had to do with the occupation of combing wool. Lykins came from Lycan Farm back in Varmland, Sweden when that branch shed their patronymics. Boswell may be from the Gaelic "Bothel" meaning the house of the powerful. I have no idea what Emigh/Amick might have meant though it may be cognate to Emmerich which is again a strong, powerful house. Jones and Ferguson are just patronymics that became surnames.

Oh, well. Back to those patents!
rowanf: (lovers - swans)
After the usual lovely start to the day, my Friday was really very nice. I worked hard all morning with Amanda on organizing. We boxed up much of the contents of my wardrobe so I can get it ready to sell. *sob* It is a beautiful piece of furniture, but I just need to real closet. There just isn't any other place in the house where it will fit either. We didn't get it totally finished in 3 hours but I have three wardrobe boxes downstairs, 4-5 large boxes and 2-3 banker's boxes of stuff. Plus three bags of recycle, one bag of trash and another bag for Goodwill. I find myself daunted by the quantity linens that live on top of the wardrobe. We just really don't have storage in this house. What did the Victorians do? Besides not having anywhere as many clothes as I do, I mean. *wry grin*

In the afternoon I continued reading about genetic genealogy. I put Paul's haplotype in Whit's latest haplogroup test and got I1c (or I2) which is a fairly unusual and interesting haplogroup. There are some folks who think it is the indigenous haplogroup in Scotland & Ireland. Others think it came in with the Vikings and some with the Angles. Only time and a lot more testing will tell. I have read way too many debates on the DNA Genealogy list. Said list is getting close to 3,000 messages a month and thus quite unreadable. *sigh* I think genetic genealogy is taking off. Now if only some more of my relations would get tested!

Russell met me at the 5:15 showing of War of the Worlds. They did a good job, it was quite disturbing and scary. Several "boos" got me jumping. Dakota Fanning is really a very good actress. The non-stop action of today's movies is quite a contrast with the storytelling style of the 1953 version. Russell caught the cameo at the end of the 1953 star as the "grandfather". (A quick search reveals the "grandmother" was the female lead.) I would never have noticed. We wandered over to the Grill on the Alley and had appetisers and drinks. I always forget how expensive it is when it isn't Thursday night! We talked about the movie and about the aftermath. The invasion weas over in about a week and 1 in 6 people were gone and also a lot of infrastructure. Would it be better to be in a city where there might be better relief efforts or in the country? The Tom Cruise character was an auto mechanic as well as a longshoreman and likely to be more useful in the aftermath than the new husband who probably was something like a stockbroker. Would I want to survive? Is 1 in 6 enough population reduction to make a real difference in the world? Somehow we go on to BSE and then the parrot movie and the nature films made by the guys who later made King Kong. You probably had to be there... but I love that I can have interesting conversation and great sex with my husband even after 22 years. This is how I always wanted my relationships to work. I am so blessed!


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rowanf: (Default)
I had a dental hygienist appointment at noon yesterday, but they called me around 10:30 and asked if I could come early. I dropped everything and headed for San Jose. It had been nine month since my last cleaning because of getting the implant in March just before my scheduled cleaning. Evidently the abutment on top of the implant was lose and Dr. Takeuchi tightened it but wants me to see the oral surgeon. I needed to see her anyway, so I made an appointment for next week... the same day I have a mammogram. All this health maintenance is hitting at once. Thank Goddess for insurance.

So I found myself in San Jose at noon and the temperature being 90 degrees F. I had planned to work from home and I did go set up and do a little... but it was just too hot. I decided to go see the film, Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, in a nice air conditioned theatre. It has gotten down to only one show a day and I figured this was my last chance to catch it. Russell being out, I could work in the cool of evening. The documentary about an eccentric man who feeds the cherry-headed conures who inhabit Telegraph Hill was interesting but I'm not sure what the fuss is about. It was amusing that this fellow, Mark Bittner, who had come to San Francisco ~26 years ago and basically never had a job and spent 15 years homeless, was worried that people would think him eccentric for feeding the birds. Hello? Take a look at yourself! He spent three years living rent-free on Telegraph Hill. That is something to envy! *shakes head*

I headed home around 4pm and there wasn't any evening breeze cooling things down (my car's outside temp gauge said it was will 90F). Ack. I decided to hole up with my computer and the room air conditioner in the bedroom and got a bit more work done. But I really just wanted to sleep. I tried to go to bed about 7:30 but got back up again and answered email and played Snood. I got my third highest Snood score, 33692, and actually managed to get it verified and on the board. I hadn't realized before that you have to get your verification code while that score is still fresh. My actual highest score is 36923.

I really hate sleeping alone. I got to sleep around 9:30 but awoke at 1:30. If Russell (or an OSO) were there, I'd just snuggle up and go back to sleep. After lying in the dark for awhile I picked up the computer and answered more email. I got to bed again around 2:45. Somewhere in there I listened to the radio and disabled my alarm. So I didn't get up at 5am and go have tea with Carole. I awoke about 6am and called her to apologize. *sigh*

I really need to finish writing up the Comer genealogy lines for and our surname study page. I wonder if I should do a separate page. I'm not sure how much I want to take on! I need to get the money together to have one of my first cousins on my mother's side to a Y-line test. I'm much more connected to that family. I've been reading Trace Your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner and it is quite inspiring. *wry grin*

Today Don's dispatch mentioned a DVD called Hope which was shown. The web site is very rudimentary (though there is an interesting trailer). I want to make note of it so I can go back for updates.

May 2015



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