31 March 2012

Genealogy Announcement

You all may notice the badge on the right.  Per the announcement below, a major event for genealogy researchers will begin in April.  We have been waiting for this for a long time.  It will take a while for the index to be created and at first only those used to working with the raw microfiche once uploaded will be able to use it.
The National Archives and Records Administration will open the 1940 U.S. Federal Census on April 2, 2012—the first time this collection will be made available to the public. Once we receive the census, we will begin uploading census images to our site so the public can browse them. Initially, this collection will be what we call a browse-only collection. This means a person can scroll through the pages of the census districts much like you would look at a microfilm or a book. At the same time, we will be working behind the scenes to create an index of the census that will eventually allow people to search for their family members by name as they currently can with all other censuses. Note also that the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be accessible free of charge throughout 2012. By the way, two key questions people have are how long will the upload process take? and when will my state be ready. Unfortunately, until we start the process we have no idea exactly how long it will be before all images or a specific state will be uploaded. We like to use this analogy: think about how long it takes to upload all of the images on a memory card onto a home computer. Now imagine that memory card holds 3.8 million, very-high-definition images. You get the picture.
Once the indexes are finished anyone will be able to search by name and location.  This will be a free service through 2012.  I will let everyone know when they can start on their own.  In the meantime, if you want me to hunt for family members, I will give it a trial run and let you know what I find.  Just put your request in comments or send me an email.

28 March 2012

They're Back!!!

With a bid of $2.15 billion, including the surrounding land, Mr. Johnson, controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball's flagship franchises. - Wall Street Journal

19 March 2012

The Queen's Meme #113

The Queen's Meme #113 ~ The After St. Patty's Day Meme (aka The Green Meme)

1. How many green things are within your reach? – 3 A lid on a bottle of vitamins, a comb, and a picture of cucumber ribbons on diet recipes

2. Have you ever been green with envy? – No – Jealousy, envy and general coveting of any kind is a truly destructive emotion and waste of time. Plus it gives you a tummy ache.

3. Do you like split pea soup? – Yes but cutting those little peas in half with the scissors is a lot of work.

4. Have you gone green? Not a clear memory but it involved several daiquiris and green maraschino cherries.

5. Do green Leprechauns scare you? - Actually they were quite comforting after all those daiquiris

6. What color was the Wicked Witch of The West's face in the Wizard of Oz? Idina Menzel showed me her makeup on You Tube.

7. Tell us about your last experience with a frog...or a toad...or a prince. You pick. – Kermie of course.

Oh Darn Stuck Again - Repost

Josephine Sarah Marcus

Since today is Wyatt Earp's birthday, I thought I would repost this blog article about his third wife.

This happens sometimes. I get off on a research project and then get stuck in a time period and end up spending months somewhere some time reading little esoteric lines of enquiry. There is a joke about the restaurant that advertised they sold breakfast anytime and a patron requested french toast during the renaissance. Well that's me. Somewhere around age 10 I got stuck in the mid 1800s in Massachusetts. I've been locked into Caesar's Rome, Catherine's Russia, and Elizabeth's England with Shakespeare for company.

Yesterday the Doolin-Dalton gang got my attention and I vaguely mentioned that the "wild, wild west" didn't last very long. In checking out some of the info, I started to think about the women. We've heard about Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley, but what about the Marshalls and desperados? Did they have wives? Who were they? What happened to them?

Most of these women were in their own way as rough and tough as the men. They were actresses, dancers, and "companionable comfort" for the even rougher men. Most, whatever their youthful indiscretions and presuming they survived their law and outlaw men, usually ended up respectable and generous elders living well into the 20th century. They had really exciting lives and you hear nothing because we are almost always taught "his" story not "her" story and because records for the time period can be somewhat limited when it comes to women who rarely had careers or activities considered important.

One of the best documented is Wyatt Earp's third wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus (Josie) (1861 - 1944). His first wife Urilla Sutherland had died of typhus only a few months after their marriage in 1870. He took up with his second companion Anne "Mattie" Blaylock in 1973 , but left her behind with a house in Tombstone, AZ in 1882 after meeting Josie in San Francisco. Read the full Wikipedia biographies for the scandal involving Mattie and Josie as they are better than anything you are likely to see splashed all over the tabloids today, and why should I have all the fun.

There is a mystery associated with Josie that extends all the way into the psychadelic rock era, and that is the image sometimes referred to as Kaloma that was used on one of the most popular posters of the time.

You can find the whole story, background and discussion as to whether or not the image on the left that was used on the cover of a biography of Wyatt Earp and then used again in the poster is Josie Earp on this web site as it is rather long and involved but very interesting. The image at the top of the page is definitely the elderly Josie taken in Los Angeles. Wyatt passed away in 1928 while Josie lived until the first years of World War II with many friends in the film industry.

Now you all just stay busy for a while. I have to go find out what happened to the wives of Emmett Dalton, Bat Masterson, and Jesse James. (Now you can see what getting stuck can do to you.)

Out of The In Box Paraprosdokians

PARAPROSDOKIANS  (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left..

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. They begin the evening news with 'Good Evening,' then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

10. Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On my desk is a work station.

11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

12. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

17. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

18. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

19. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

20. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

21. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

22. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

23. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

24. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

25. Where there's a will, there are relatives.

I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

12 March 2012

Quarrel of the Colors

Another Legend of the Rainbow

Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel. All claimed that they were the best. The most important. The most useful. The favorite.

Green said: "Clearly, I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for the grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

Blue interrupted: "You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing."

Yellow chuckled: "You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."

Orange started next to blow her trumpet: "I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and papayas. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you."

Red could not stand it any longer, he shouted out: "I am the ruler of all you. I am blood - life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the Color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy."

Purple rose up to his full height: He was very tall and spoke with great pomp: I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me! They listen and obey."

Finally Indigo spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: "Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

As so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling become louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightning, thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, Rain began to speak: "You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands.

The Rain continued: "From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The Rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow."

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a Rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.


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06 March 2012

How To Read To A Child - Repost

Many of you who come by here often visit Shelly over at This Eclectic Life. When she isn't spending hundreds of volunteer hours running a marvelous charity called Share A Square or solving all of the world's most pressing problems past and present, she actually has a career traveling all across Texas as a storyteller. Well I have to talk with her. You see I don't remember learning to read and I think it just may be a story teller's fault.

Somewhere between the day I was born and the Christmas before I turned three, I picked up a new book just given to me and read a poem out loud for the first time. Well to tell the truth, the little, obnoxious brat I was sometimes known to be at the time, grabbed the book from my mother and said, "I'll read it to you this time!". I can even remember the very first poem:

A was once an apple pie,
Nice insidy
Apple Pie!

Now I was bright, one of those non-children children who look at adults speaking baby talk as if they have lost their minds, but not genius level smart - just a bright kid. So why was that child an absolutely hopeless bookworm before ever entering the first grade. Well a storyteller did it. It's all her fault that my house looks like an exploded library.

All the manuals tell you to read to a child every night. They don't tell you that this is your chance to practice all those acting skills you've been saving up for when Hollywood comes to call with that multi million dollar contract. Bees buzz, the wind howls, wigglies and squigglies crawl up legs and arms. Carriages rock back and forth as high speeds carry you away from danger. Shadows and gloom descend, swords flash and slash, and animals of every kind oink, honk, neigh, moo, and whinney. What good is a dragon if your eyes don't open wide when it breathes its terrible fire, and how can a princess go to a ball if you aren't dancing around the room.

...And I'll huff and I'll puff
...Open Sesame
...The better to see you with my dear
...An Elephant's faithful one hundred percent

There are picture books and then there are just written books where the storyteller paints the pictures. You're competing with the TV set for goodness sake ... instant noise, instant music, and instant pictures ... ones you don't have to work to see, but a great storyteller shows a child black letters on white paper and says ... "here there be magic." All the miracles of the universe are waiting to dance across your brain, you just have to see the pictures the letters are painting.

... the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas
... By the laughing big, sea water

So the next time you read to a child, rub the latern to release the genie and look up as the smoke billows to form the huge, smokey shape. Quivver under the covers in fear of the growling, giant stalking the room with a fee fi fo and fum. Shriek, laugh, sigh, whisper, and moan, and then at the absolutely most appropriate time kiss first the left eyelid and then the right eyelid, and then the forehead as you send baby out to sail among the stars with letters in their head that spell:

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.

If all else fails and nodding does not occur ... remember the warning to ill behaved children ...

The Goblins 'll get you ef you don't watch out!

05 March 2012


Each week I receive stories from the School for Practical Philosophy. Most are filled with good life lessons. A few are so wise they call to be shared. The following is one.


Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it he noticed that right at that moment a bullock cart started crossing the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!”

So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.

He found that the lake was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the cloudy water. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it was fit to drink. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, "See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be and the mud settled down on its own and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless."

- Author Unknown -

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01 March 2012

5 On Friday - Historical Firsts

A Very Different 5 On Friday.  Stop by Trav's Thoughts for directions to the regular meme and then read below for a special theme of several songs from me.  I have mentioned before that I was raised in areas in and around Los Angeles with close connections to the technical side of the motion picture industry and with brushes to celebrity.  You will not be surprised that this started literally on hour one of my life.

Due to the war shortages, it seemed inappropriate to continue holding banquet ceremonies at a fancy hotel.  Therefore, the Academy Awards ceremonies were permanently switched to theater settings starting on Thursday, March 2, 1944.  For the first time the 16th Awards ceremony was held at Grauman's Chinese Theater.  Because Sid Grauman had placed a red carpet in front of his theater from the curb to the entrance, this may have been the first time that movie stars walked "The Red Carpet" on their way into the awards.

As it had been since the second ceremony, the event was covered by local radio. but for the first time network radio broadcast overseas to World War II American GI's.  Jack Benny was the host for this ceremony and the special war time broadcast.  Also for the first time, winners for the best supporting actors and actresses categories received statuettes rather than plaques. Because of the war, all statuettes were made out of plaster rather than bronze. These were later replaced by the standard gold statue.

So what else of monumental importance happened on this day?  For the answer to that you need to go about ten miles down the road from Grauman's Chinese to the Methodist Hospital then located at 2826 South Hope Street in Los Angeles. The hospital rooms were said to include:
"many modern conveniences - radio is wired to every bed so that all that is necessary for entertainment is to plug one in."  
At about 4:18 pm a lady had given birth to a baby girl and having gotten that rapidly out of the way as her family always did,  she plugged in one of those radios for the Oscar broadcast. Since she was a very good singer, she rocked the baby and sang the best song nominees. This child would never ever hear a "regulation lullaby" from this decidedly non-regulation woman, but then there were lots of vocal standards right from the start.

As it turned out on Thursday, March 2, 1944,  "You'll Never Know" from Hello Frisco Hello received the Academy Award for Best Song, The Best Picture Oscar went to Casablanca,  and my parents got me.  While I don't clearly remember the event, it is inescapable that not counting in-utero, the first song I ever heard in my life was probably "You'll Never Know".  Even stranger, this has always been one of my favorite standards and I didn't learn until much later that it was played for my birth.  This adds new meaning to the lyrics of  "Children Will Listen".

Unfortunately, none of the songs from Casablanca were eligible for an award since none of them were original to the movie.   So there you have it.  In any trivia contest I will always have the answer to

1.  What year did Graumann's Chinese first host The Academy Awards?
2.  When were the Oscars first broadcast overseas?
3.  Who was the Master of Ceremonies for the 16th Oscar broadcast?
4.  What were the Best Picture and Best Song of 1943?

Should my age or the date of my arrival on the planet happen to slip your mind, you can look up the broadcast date for the 16th  awards ceremony for The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.    Ask me my age and I will tell you, "The body is the same age as Casablanca's Oscar, but I'm only 36."  This tends to confuse people except those who know me.  Find when you became the most "You" and stay there.  My body was born in 1944.  I became me in 1980.

Today one of us is 68 and I am still 36. :-)

Other songs nominated included:

My Shining Hour from "The Sky's The Limit"

They're Either Too Young Or Too Old from "Thank You're Lucky Stars"

That Old Black Magic from "Star Spangled Rhythm"

You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To from "Something To Shout About"

Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe  from "Cabin In The Sky"

Happy Saint David's Day

Here is all the basic information on the Welsh Patron Saint and Saint David's Day courtesy of Wiki.   Celebrations are simple:  Welsh Cakes and Daffodils.  Something wonderful to eat and my favorite flower to see.  What more could you ask for from a Day.

Welsh Cakes

These are a cross between scone, cookie, and pancake and they are wonderful.


4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons lard
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups raisins
4 eggs
8 tablespoons milk


Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. Put in butter and lard and mix until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and currants or raisins. Beat the eggs lightly and add to flour mixture with just enough milk to make a firm dough similar to shortcrust pastry.

Chill dough 1 to 2 hours.

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch on floured surface and cut with 3 inch rounds. Bake the cakes on a greased griddle or frying pan over low heat until golden brown. Cool and sprinkle with sugar. These can be frozen.