Friday, August 31, 2007

Law School Ramblings

My father and I went to a baseball game last night, we watched the Indianapolis Indians beat up on the Columbus Clippers (the New York Yankees farm team) by a score of 9-3. It was a beautiful night. I was afraid for a little while that it might rain, but it didn't. Turned into a wonderfully cool (tempeture wise and dad/son bonding wise) evening. The tickets cost us 13 bucks a piece, but I had two left over Tribe Tokens (which are kind of like gift certificates) that my aunt and uncle gave to me for a graduation present earlier in the summer. So, technically the tickets only cost us three bucks a piece, which was even nicer. The cool thing about Victory Field, though, is the view of downtown. Over the right field fence you can see the RCA Dome and the rest of downtown frames the rest of the outfield. It really is a beautiful scene.

The capper, though, for me was me winning 50 bucks. There was a message on the scoreboard that said "Text INDIANSWIN to (such and such a number) and you may win a prize!" so, I decided to be their huckleberry and texted indianswin and sure enough at the end of the game I checked my phone and I had a return text message that said I had won 50 bucks and I was to go to the guest relations office. I followed directions and was presented with a nice check for 50 bucks. It was nice getting something and I didn't even have to work at it except for some simple thumb maneuvering on my cellphone keyboard.

Right now, I am in the law library sitting at the circulation desk not doing much of anything. I'll be going home soon (around nine o'clock) and I'll get ready for bed so I can be up sometime around 0430 so I can be at the bookstore by 0600. I've been thinking about going to another baseball game tomorrow after work, but I'm not a hundred percent sure yet. I am going to be downtown on Thursday so I can see and maybe take part in the craziness that will be opening night of the NFL season. I won't be at the game, no tickets, but I will be digging on the crowd and such. There is a free concert at the Soldiers and Sailor Monument in the center of the city that I'll go check out even though I don't particularly care for the singers that are going to be there. It should be an experience.

I applied for another library position last night. I'm pretty sure I won't get it, I'm not all that qualified for it. The position is an assistant librarian that deals with the sciences. The last time I had a science class was in college... I think it was a biology class for the non-science major. But if nothing else, it will hopefully give me more practice in interviewing. I don't interview very often. I need to learn how to do it better and relax a bit in interviews.

I've been reading the Old Testament book Ezekiel recently. There is some stuff in there will blow your mind. It took me a few days to get over God equating the Jews to nothing more than a two dollar whore and then two chapters later telling them that he will do anything for them. I'll have to go back and get the verses I read. Talk about a mind spin!

Its almost that time, its almost time for me make like a baby and head out. I'll catch all of you on the flip side.

Emma Chases Me

This morning, after I got myself motivated to get out of bed, eat breakfast (while watching my daily helping of SportsCenter on ESPN), and get dressed, my father and I went to SamsClub the second cousin to the evil empire known as Walmart. We had to get some bulk items: cat litter, water softner salt, bottled water (yes, the irony is not lost on me there). I put it all in the trunk and drove home.

When we got home Emma, the Princess, was sitting in the window like she owned the place, which, I guess to a certain degree she does. She watching the traffic and the dogs across the street. When we pulled in she got a excited and sat up straight. I had to make a couple of trips from house to car to get everything in the house. Emma ran from window to window to watch me. All the windows were open so I could hear her thump down on the floor and race to the next window and then she'd wait by the door as I brought everything in and then back she'd go as I walked back to the car.

I don't know why, but it was just kind of funny.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Faith vs. Trust

I had a realization recently. It was much like a punch in the back of the head. I realized that trust is as important as faith. I want badly to write about this, but I'm not sure I'll do it right. It is something I need to think about and work through before I can put it out there. I've been working on it in my head since last week. I read something in Deuteronomy that really kind of drop kicked me. I'll write more later.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Keep Those Records!

I learned something the other day that I thought was interesting, but shouldn't of surprised me. One of the presentations I went to while attending the Federation of Genealogy Societies was about using church records in genealogical research. I learned that the earliest church records known to exist come from a Lutheran church in Cathaolic-heavy Bavaria. The German Lutherans were at the forefront of keeping church records. These records then, as now, were baptism, confirmation, marriage, and death.

Granted, these records might be complete or total. Things happen, for example, people used to have to pay to have the records to be kept, so, some didn't/wouldn't/couldn't pay, or they did pay for some but not all. For example, maybe only boys would be registered in the baptismal section, that kind of thing.

I can remember the church record book we used to have in Maryland. It was a big, oversized leather thing. It was the church record book. It had probably 75 or 80 years worth of baptisms, weddings, burials, and confirmations in it. The first part of it was written in German and the pastors from back then wrote in the strange German script. It was interesting to look at, if for no other reason than to see the different writing styles each pastor had.

It was interesting to hear this guy talk about reconstructing whole families through church records and using those records to follow the generations back further.

So, rev's, make sure you keep those church records up to date you never know when those records might help a genealogist fifty years down the road.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is It Me, Or Does Genealogy Look Like its Being Mispelled?

I am sitting in a DaysInn, just off Route 69 in Ft. Wayne, IN. Why does that sound like the beginning of a bad, somewhat tastelss joke? Maybe because, to some it could very well be, to others it might be the set up to a very scary story. In fact, its neither. Its just the truth. I am sitting at a desk that is a bit too high for me to use my laptop comfortably, in a DaysInn just of Rt. 69.

I am attending the first two days of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Said conference is being sponsored by Allen County Public Library. Today was called Librarians' Day. That is a free day (main reason why I'm here toda, actually). I got a nice tour of the new library here in Ft. Wayne... goodnight, is a beautiful building. I was awed. The genealogy room is more than impressive... its truly impressive. You have to know what you're doing in there in order to get anything done properly. Sure, you can go in the poke around and maybe get lucky with some information, but I'd reckon that the Allen County Genealogy room might be frightening to a rookie, it was to me and I wouldn't consider myself a rookie genealogist... maybe not a tested veteran, but I can work the ropes a bit.

The funny thing about Ft. Wayne to me is this: the one way streets. I don't have a problem getting to my motel from the library, its getting from my motel to the library that is a bit more difficult. I feel like I'm doing loop-de-loops and going around in circles as I navigate the one ways. I can see the library, but I always seem to be in the wrong lane and miss the turn, so I go around and around again. Not so bad, though, aside from the goofy oneway streets, Ft. Wayne isn't too bad.

I did a little genealogy research myself this evening, I didn't come very prepared, though, I don't have the requisite first pieces of info one needs, mainly Names and dates and if possible places. I have a few names in my head, but not the dates. I was able to find one piece of info, but it was something I already had, however, it might lead to other discoveries, so I photocopied it.

Tomorrow I'll be going to some seminars dealing with various aspects of genealogy and they will be a bunch of displays by companies that deal with all things genealogical. Is it me or does the word genealogy just look wrong, like its mispelled. Its not, I double checked, but it just looks funny to me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Next Two Days

I will bein Ft. Wayne on the 15th and 16th attending a conference. It is the Gederation of Genealogical Societys Conference. I took a genealogy class earlier in the summer and I enjoyed it. This is an annual conference. The reason it is being held in Ft. Wayne is Allen County Library has just completed a large scale remolding of their genealogy department. From what I understand, the genealogy library is the third biggest draw of tourist dollars they have in Allen County. I do know that the Allen County Library Genealogical branch is world known and rivals the Mormans.

I haven't been to Ft. Wayne in a long time, the last time I remember being there was when I was checking outt he seminary. I don't remember much of it other than it was just your typical small city in the midwest.

Well, that pretty much brings you up to date.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Buy This Book and Read It

I just finished reading the book American Band: Music, Dreams, and Coming of Age in the Heartland, by Kristen Laine. And it was probably one of the best non-fiction titles I've read in the last year. It was quite simply amazing. Its 318 pages and every page is gripping.

American Band follows Concord High School's marching band. Concord is located north of Indianapolis. Laine became part of the band for all intense and purposes. She interviewed and followed band members and the band director and literally became a part of their lives.

I was never in the band in high school, but I have always enjoyed listening to high school bands. I knew a lot of work went into the field shows, but I never realized how intense it could be. There are many layers to this book. Not only do we have a ringside seat to the practices the band goes through, but also some of the internal struggle the kids find themselves dealing with.

There are times in this book that I read with a lump in my throat. I found myself rooting for the kids and fearing to turn the page because I didn't want a bad thing to happen.

Laine did a great job of story. Its difficult sometimes to make a non-fiction book read like fiction and have the same story arcs and cliff hangers that fiction can have, but she did an amazing job in that regard. She had me hooked and I couldn't let go if I wanted to. I had to know what happened.

There is teenage angst in here, that is expected, but then there is also incredible teenage "steppin-up" that resounds throughout the book. Grant, one of the main characters of the book shines through. He is not only the sould and leader of the bad, but also the soul of the book. His personal struggles and personal tragedies are, to say the least, gripping. And the story arc dealing with freshman Adilene Corona is truly inspiring.

I feel like I'm gushing about this book, which I am, but I haven't read a book like this, that was this good in a very long time. I may have to actually buy the book for my collection. Yes, it was that good.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


It feels strange to be done with school to be officialy done, not in an in-between-semesters kind of way, but honest to goodness, waiting-for-the-final-grades kind of way. I completed my course work for my masters of library science degree on Friday. As I walked out of the class and threw my arms in the air and grinned as big as I could a feeling of relief and contentment and not a little surprised-- I did it without doing myself harm. I was able to balance a fulltime job with fulltime school. I felt a little, as Dr. Voelz would of said, "Chuff." I felt proud of myself. It just felt good.

Now, I feel a bit weird. I've been taking the last couple days to get used to the idea that I don't have to be worrying about doing school work, or reading a text book, or worrying about what goes in what cataloging field. I'm getting used to having freetime. Its a weird feeling. That sounded strange, but it is a weird feeling. I can relax and enjoy a baseball game, like I am now (Mets v. Cubs). I can sit and watch a movie and not worry about the fact that I'm "wasing time" instead of "enjoying myself."

I am a man of cententment. I am man in the midst of blessings. I have a job I like, I accomlished a goal that I have had for 17 years. I feel great. It feels great. Life feels great. I am blessed, my cup runneth over.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

How You Guys Find Me, Redux

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