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The End of the Month

It's the last day of November, so that means this must be the last NaBloPoMo entry. I posted on 28 out of 30 days, which is the best I've done since the first one I did in 2011. I did it on relatively few political posts, which you're probably happy about. To be honest, after the 8th they probably would've been all about "did you see what that man did/said today???" and that might have gotten repetitious.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed at least some of this stuff I've written. I liked the family history posts, myself. There were a lot of wordy posts this month. I could've saved some effort if I had a bigger backlog of YouTube videos to stick in here, maybe. ;-)

What comes next? I don't know. It's the holiday season. Everything in my life goes to pot in December. It's hard to know how much I'll write in LJ this month.

Thanks for coming along on the journey. Thanks especially to quickcasey for inspiring me undertake this madness.

Nov. 29th, 2016

This is my placeholder for today (because I only miss Wednesdays, not Tuesdays).

Addendum: Maybe I should've had my Second Life avatar write an entry this month. What do you think?
Gus at Wolves Land, May 2016

Follow-up on recent items in my LJ

Donald Trump did not reply to my tweet about him yesterday. I suppose this is not surprising. He also did not stop being inappropriately outrageous.

Follow up on my November 17th post: It turns out that some contaminated fill dirt was used at Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights, the city north of Warren, in 2015 I guess. (No one was ever clear about timing, in reports I heard.) This did not lead to the major shakeup Warren's mayor seemed to be looking for. Apologies were mumbled, and feathers are still ruffled in Sterling Heights and Macomb County offices. (Metro Times' follow up coverage)

I still don't know when or where my great-grandfather died.

The new LED bulb in my porch light socket is working pretty well. I bought another one to go in a living room lamp. This one is a three-way, but it works strangely. Instead of going from 30 watts to 70 to 100, it goes from 30 to 70 back to 30. I don't get it. But 70 is plenty bright, really.

Did I miss anything?

I'm so mad I made a Tweet

As a U.S. citizen I call on @realDonaldTrump to tell truth and respect the people and Constitution of the nation. Starting now!
This is not much. I don't know what any of us could do that would have impact. OK, Jill Stein (and, finally, Hillary Clinton) did call for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Apart from that, millions of us can only sit and gape at the incompetent circus act going on at Trump Tower in New York City. Certainly, almost none of our other elected leaders are saying anything, not even Democrats.

Today's statement by Trump's designated spokesperson that he will change his mind about not prosecuting Hillary Clinton is absolutely heinous. And so is his allegation that millions of voters voted illegally. Journalists are beside themselves. They've never had to deal with someone who so blatantly lies and proposes illegal and unconstitutional actions. They don't even know if their job is to contradict him, because it's never come up before like this. It's one thing that journalists had to dig to find the truth about, say, Watergate. It's another thing when the speaker isn't even trying to cover anything up.

I don't know, maybe if everyone floods his Twitter inbox with complaints and demands for proper behavior, he'd see it, since he seems to want to govern from his Twitter account.

Nov. 26th, 2016

I had a four-day weekend for Thanksgiving. Three-quarters of it is gone already. I can hardly believe it. I guess it didn't help that I actually slept through most of Friday afternoon. I got some chores done today, though, and I'm planning on doing more tomorrow. Then again, I do deserve some fun time, so I've been spending plenty of time with my computer hobbies.

Wednesday night, I had to go to not one but two Kmarts to find a gift for my younger great-niece, who turned 7 on Wednesday. The goal was something called a Kitty Surprise. It's a plush-bodied cat with a plastic face, and inside a zippered pouch on her underside she has between three and five kittens. Apparently this was a thing in the 1990s and early 2000s, and has made a comeback of sorts along with Puppy Surprise. I never have liked plushies with plastic faces; they always look butt-ugly to me. But my g-niece wanted it, so who am I to inflict my tastes on her? She was happy on Thanksgiving when I gave it to her. That's good for me.

That's the only real shopping I've done, as it's my tradition to boycott Black Friday (and even blacker Thanksgiving) sales. It's bad enough I have to shop for groceries tomorrow, but that's necessary if I actually want to eat.

Show report

My show at The Dovetail with Emma Guzman tonight was pretty good. I had a very good first set; everything flowed together and I was plenty focused so nothing went wrong. My second set wasn't quite as good. I'm probably out of practice, which affects mental stamina. Emma was excellent, as always. She's very young but way ahead of where I was when I was her age in both performing and songwriting. She'll probably go far in music, whatever direction she takes.

We didn't have a large crowd, and we were competing with a group of semi-regulars toward the back of the coffeehouse who were there to socialize. Supposedly they like live music, but they're not really there to be audience. Some people get upset by this, but my feeling has always been that if the performer was able and willing to do what it takes to shut them up, s/he could. But sometimes that means compromising your goals, and I wasn't willing to perform vocal acrobatics like it's American Idol. So.

Anyway, it was a pretty nice night of music. Eventually I'll schedule another show. Maybe I'll promote it better, too, so the audience is bigger.

Nov. 24th, 2016

Well, thanks have been given, and large gluttonous meals have been eaten. I am here to tell you that the latter part, at least, is bull. I am here to tell you that overeating is nothing to give thanks for. Oh, it was all good, and tasty, and ... just too much food. Especially all the starches.

I got home from my sister's at around 9 p.m., and napped from about 9:30 until 11:30. (That's why this post is so late.) I still have an overfull stomach. It doesn't hurt, it's just uncomfortable. And I've realized that I really hate this feeling. It's nothing to be grateful for, my lack of control with food. I don't know why it's taken me this long to figure it out, but right now it's all I can think of. I just hope the next time, I can think of it before it's too late.

In conclusion: Ugh.

Where in Time Is Winslow B. Montney?

So I have this great-grandfather. He stands out amongst my father's lineage because the men almost all lived long lives, but he did not. Dad almost made 86; his father reached 90; his great-grandfather the Civil War captain got to 99 1/2; and the captain's father passed at 95. But then there's my great-grandfather, Winslow, with a meager 30 years, 9 months, as it says on his marker in the cemetery in Yale, Michigan.

Why this was the case is an elusive story. I have heard two stories. One is that he died in a farming accident at his property in northern St. Clair County, Michigan. The other is that he died in Chicago, Illinois, somehow, possibly involved in some labor unrest (Chicago was a hotbed of that in the 1890s). Even his death date is up in the air, or as up in the air as it can be when it's engraved in stone. The grave marker says he died on "June 12, 1892, aged 30 years 9 months." Is that correct? The page at Find-A-Grave.com gives his dates as 1860–1890, even with the photo alongside in contradiction.

Meanwhile, the death date I have is 1893, though I have no backup for that. I'm the oddball with that 1893 date. There are twenty-some other family trees in Ancestry that include my great-grandfather, and if they have any death details at all, nearly all have "12 Jun 1892, Chicago, Illinois." But NONE have a death certificate, obituary, news article — no primary source at all. I'd change mine, but there's really nothing firmer to support 1892.

His name doesn't turn up in death record indexes in Cook County, Illinois, nor in any indexes I have available covering St. Clair County, Michigan. I don't get that, either; it's ONLY 1892 (or '90 or '93), we're not talking 1700s here. I guess I could send to the official state offices to see if they can do a search, but that costs money and you have to have more precise information before you send them on the goose chase. Well, I think I have to. I don't have spare twenties to send to Lansing (or Springfield).

I could try to find a cousin, I suppose. "Hi, you don't know me, but...." AWWWkward.

Why do I like genealogy? I like solving puzzles. Of course, I'd like puzzles to be a little more solvable.

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Nov. 21st, 2016

President-elect Trump is already doing so many things that I find questionable that it's astounding. Granted, I was prepared to be completely unhappy with him from the start, so I'm not the best person to ask, perhaps. But are we, his opposition, so keyed up that we're going to see Hitler 2.0 in everything he does? Or is he actually BEING Hitler 2.0?

He's naming people to his Cabinet posts of questionable backgrounds; calling some of them white supremacists is not beyond the pale. He's still conducting business meetings despite the appearance of conflicts of interest. He called television news hosts and executives to a meeting to browbeat them into submission today.

Worse still, the small part of his base that is the white supremacist movement is being widely reported to be celebrating with rituals that invoke the Nazi party at its finest. Trump or his people are doing nothing to repudiate this. NOTHING.

I don't know whether to shit or go blind, as my father might have said.

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Nov. 20th, 2016

This was a lost weekend. I spent all the daylight hours in bed, and the evening hours weren't terribly active either.

I finally went to a store to buy, among other things, a new light bulb for my front porch light. Really new, as in an LED bulb, the first one I've bought. I will probably put it in tomorrow night. Won't that be exciting? (Yes, I made sure the box said it was good for outside use.)

Other than that ... um ...

Sigh. Sometimes this NaBloPoMo doesn't result in much of literary merit. Sorry. I'll try again tomorrow.

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