Sunday, April 24, 2011

Working From Home

I've been working from home.  Sure there are lots of benefits:
  •  no commute time
  • wear whatever you want
  • eat at your desk
  • take a break whenever you want
But there are drawbacks.  The last benefit mentioned above being one of the biggest drawbacks.  The job I have now pays by the piece.  That means I don't get paid for any paid breaks.  I'm blame the dog and the house, simply because otherwise I have to take the blame myself, or admit some personal flaw.  Zeus likes to go exploring outside, and since I don't know if the go out whine means he has bodily functions that need to be taken care of, or if he just wants to explore, we wind up outside more often than I should during work time.  Then, he goes to sleep.  Do you know how hard it is to work when someone in the house is sleeping? There may have been a nap or two snuck in sometimes. 

Then the house starts calling. There is always something that could be cleaned or washed.  What I have been doing is to start working early, about 7:30 while I am eating breakfast.  Eventually there are breaks, some short, some long.  What this means though is that I'm not done working at a time I would have stopped if I had been in the office.  Sometimes I can get 8 hours in by 6:30, other times not until 8 or 9.  And it feels like I have been working all day, even though I wind up working  hours or less.

I am not whining about this, just stating facts.  I know I can stop some of the breaks, but they are one of the perks of working from home, so it is a matter of finding the right balance.  I really do enjoy working from home though, and do so as much as possible, even though I can go into the office if I wish.

I have been coughing all month.  It turns out to be a side effect of a medicine I have been taking.  So I switched medications, but unfortunately the cough is lingering.  I would love to stop coughing. And yes, I am whining about that.

The lilacs started blooming yesterday and smell lovely. It has been raining a lot lately, but the resulting flowers and springtime freshness have been worth it.

My daughter and I were talking about Pompeii the other day. It's the city in Italy that was destroyed by a volcano a long time ago.  I went there before she was born, and the conversation sparked an interest in me to learn more about it.  I looked up some information online, and while they have excavated a lot more of the city since I went there, they are still not finished. I've reserved many books from the library.  My sister has developed an interest about Nikola Tesla (inventor, mechanical and electrical engineer) and Edgar Cayce (American psychic), and we spend our time telling each other what we have learned about our current topics of interest.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Civil War

It's the anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and it's been on my mind.  I have been watching Ken Burns' documentary on PBS.

I have also been reading Union Quilters by Jennifer

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Genealogy Wishes

I attended a couple of classes on African American genealogy yesterday.  One of the students was proudly showing his membership into one of the societies. I'm not sure which one, but there are societies for being a descendant of a pioneer family of a particular town, or a Mayflower traveler or someone who served in the Revolutionary or Civil War.  It is helpful to join the society, because you have to prove your lineage, which is helpful in making sure you are properly documenting your work.  Then you share your information with one another, so you wind up getting a lot of information about others related to your ancestor.  You also get connected to people who share your passion not just for genealogy in general, but for the particular ancestor.

Since we were discussing how difficult it is to study slave ancestors, it seems to me that there ought to be a society for people who have figured out the owner of their slave ancestors.  It is a big deal to find the owner - a lot of time and effort and money goes into finding each tidbit.  Plus, the benefits of joining the society as mentioned above are probably even more relevant in this case.  Like a detective, you have to put together clues and come up with theories, and prepare proofs that your theory is right.  You can't be sure that your Henry is the same Henry as the one on that bill of sale, so you have to research several Henry's to say why those Henry's don't work.  Having a peer review your proofs, and maybe provide some insight or other theories, would be helpful.  Plus it would be a big accomplishment, certainly worthy of a certificate and a dinner. And sharing with each other, and combining our tidbits of knowledge and our logic (and our funds for getting more records), we might be able to prepare a more solid case for each slave ancestor.

Another thing that I think would be helpful for the slave ancestors is a better sharing of the information.  On Ancestry, there is a way to make a comment on the index for a person if you think their name is spelled wrong, or if you know the married name.  If, on Ancestry or FamilySearch, we could do the same on the slave schedules, and  list the name that the slave chose after becoming free, then I think that will help us identify everyone.  If I know that someone already has proved one Henry as theirs (and with a different name of course), then maybe I should start researching the other possible Henry's first.  While it is possible that that person making the claim is wrong, it might save me some time following the wrong Henry in the more likely case that the researcher is right.

Ohio Genealogy Society Conference

I attended the 2011 Ohio Genealogy Society Conference this weekend.  It was my first time attending any genealogy conference, generally because I would rather save my money for actual records and fabric.  I was convinced to attend by the many blogs that say how wonderful it is to go to a conference. And I thought it would make me feel more like a "real" genealogist if I actually attended a conference and mingle with the big wigs in genealogy.

The conference was held in a hotel, and since this was their milestone year (40 years?), the attendance was bigger than they anticipated.  They had a lot of classes.  Each session ran for an hour, and there were several sessions to choose from each hour.  I didn't have any difficulty choosing one for each hour.  We got a printed book that gave a syllabus for every class, so even if you missed the class, you could look at the notes.  And most of the classes were recorded, so you could get them on CD.

As you would expect, some of the classes were very basic, while others were more advanced and had a lot of information. All of the speakers were good public speakers who seemed to be knowledgeable on their subject matter.

The classrooms were long so I'm not sure I would recognize the speakers if I saw them up close.  While I did talk to people, we didn't exchange names much, so I'm not sure if I met any of the big wigs.  But it was interesting to find out how different people conducted genealogy differently, mostly due to their comfort level with computers.

There was a vendor mall area.  There were booths by publishers who sold new genealogy books, and a booth that sold older books, postcards, etc.  There were county genealogy societies who sold their publications where they had transcribed cemeteries, etc.  There were a couple of smaller software companies, who sold specialized genealogy software.  You can get software that keeps track of your family in different census years, and a book company where you can publish your information (mostly like photo books). 

There was a place that sold family tree products. Even though I had vowed not to buy anything there, (and I want to make quilts from kits I already have)  I got this fabric panel from Fun Stuff For Genealogists. It also came in kit form.  I think it is a good way to showcase the family or genealogy research. You put the names in the ovals, and you can either put the ovals on the tree, or you can put photos in the border and use the ovals on the picture. There are 21 ovals, so now I have to decide which family members to include. I think this would be a great gift.