Monday, January 29, 2007

Whee! H.R. 390 Passed

Like I get all excited by House Resolutions getting passed.

Last week, Congressman Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo, San Francisco), had the Preservation of Servitude, Emancipation, and Post-Civil War Reconstruction Act passed in the House.

His press release can be found here.

I agree with Rep. Lantos in what he shared with the Speaker of the House when he said,
The federal and local records covered by this legislation are not only of personal importance to the families involved, Mr. Speaker: They are also historically significant to us all. They document the reuniting of our nation and the historic moment of transition for slaves from the status of property to citizens, a time when our country finally began to right a horrible moral wrong. We need to take the process another step now, by ensuring that those records and the lessons they hold are preserved for all eternity.

Thank you, Rep. Lantos.


Genealogy Bill Introduced (but not for me)

In the January 29, 2007 issue of the Knoxville News Sentinel, there was a column in the Perspective section by Lisa Hoffman of the Scripps Howard News Service. I quote it below...
Black historians and families researching their forbears could have a new national database to plumb if a Senate measure wins favor on Capitol Hill. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is proposing the creation of the database at the National Archives to offer a central registry of emancipation records, land deeds, wills, voter-registration and other far-flung documents from the slavery, Reconstruction and pre-civil-rights eras. In the House, Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., is sponsoring a similar bill, which would also help states, colleges and genealogical organizations to establish digitized databases of similar records.

Here is a link to Sen. Landrieu's recent press release. The text of the SEARCH Act can be found here as a pdf file.

After reading the text of the proposed act, and pulling my cynical cap a wee bit tighter, I would prefer the language to read...
The Archivist of the United States shall establish, as a part of the National Archives, a national database consisting of historic records of servitude and emanicaption in the Unites States to assist all African Americans in researching their genealogy.

As I understand it, my 4th greatgrandfather, Stephen Fluharty, was an indentured servant. He later fought in the Revolutionary War. I am not African American (that I know of), but I do have someone in my line that should have a record of servitude. I have traced my family as coming from: Canada, France, Scotland, England, Germany and elsewhere. My wife's mother's family comes mostly from Germany. Her father's side from Europe. Yet, according to the proposed bill, the new database is not designed for me, but only for African Americans.

If the bill is accepted into law (and I hope that it is), I'll search the new database. I don't expect to find my people in there, but I truly am glad that Sen. Landrieu is pushing to get this in place. It will be a good thing for the whole of the genealogical community.

Thank you, Sen. Landrieu.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Supporting Details

I found some box scores for some of the games that I mentioned a few posts ago. Baseball Almanac is a very nice site. I'm glad I found them.

The box score for the first game of the Pirates / Expos doubleheader in July of 1974 can be found here. The box score for the second game can be found here.

The box score for the Cubs / Reds game in June of 2001 can be found here.

A description of the new ice cream flavor that Edison found at Krogers can be found here. Yes, we bought it.
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. - Dennis

Things that go fast and in circles

In a follow up to a recent post about sporting events that I've attended, I thought that I'd share some of the motor sport race tracks that I've been to.

The first race track that I remember is Plattsburgh International Raceway (now know as Airborne Speedway). At that track in the North Country (far northeastern part of New York state) I remember seeing the legendary Jack Kochman's Hell Drivers. Getting a car up on two wheels and around the track was rather awe inspiring to a young boy.

After I moved to the Chicago area, some coworkers took me to Wisconsin's Lake Geneva Raceway. Lake Geneva, more than just home to TSR.

Later, after getting married and getting a different job, a different coworker took Angie and I to the Sycamore Speedway in Sycamore, IL.

Then we moved to Tennessee. And up the food chain in the racing world. And slightly east to Bristol Motor Speedway. Angie and I were fortunate to be able to attend the running of the 2003 Sharpie 500. It looks quite a bit different in person than it does on television. The colors jump out at you. And the 160,000 people that you can't see at the same time on TV. If you haven't seen a NASCAR race live, go do it.

411 Motor Speedway is about 5 miles from the house. I've lived here 11 years and haven't made it there for a race, yet. I need to take my son this year.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pro Sporting Events that I've attended

I've often wondered which sporting events I've attended and why. I guess the why is easier to answer than the which and when. Family or friends say, "Hey, let's go watch the (insert team nickname here) play." "Okay, I'm up for that." That's the why.

The which and when, hmm. I'll try to focus on pro or semi-pro events. I remember going to Fenway Park to see the Boston Red Sox play in the late 1960's or early 1970's. My dad took my brother and I. Who they played and who won is lost to the record books. I do remember sitting in the outfield seats and witnessing a fight or two break out around us. And the restrooms at Fenway. I won't describe them here, but I do remember them.

Then, in the mid-1970's I went to Parc Jarry in Montreal to see a double header with the Pirates. Again, don't know who won, but I do remember that my brother ordered a pizza to be delivered to the ball park. Yes, they did actually deliver. I don't think that he shared any with me.

Again, in the late 1970's I remember going to the Field House at SUNY Plattsburgh to see the Cardinals play a hockey game against the USSR team.

In 1978 my family moved from Clinton Co., NY to Cochise Co., AZ. Goodbye hockey, hello sun. I attended some Tucson Toros (minor league baseball) in the early 1980's.

Then in the mid 1980's I moved to the greater Chicago area. What a sports town. Do you think that I took advantage of it? No. Here's where I get in trouble. I did not:
  • attend a game at Wrigley Field
  • attend a game at the old Comiskey Park
  • attend a Bears' game
  • attend a Bulls' game
  • attend a Blackhawks' game
I did attend a few Kane County Cougar (minor league baseball) games. Much fun.

I got to go to a White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field in the early 1990's. They played the Seattle Mariners. Saw Ken Griffey, Jr. play.

Then I moved my family to Sevier Co., TN. Not many professional sports teams in the Land of Orange. I have been to a few games of the Tennessee Smokies, both in the old Bill Myer Stadium and the much newer Smokies Park. Saw the Toronto BlueJays play the Smokies in an exhibition game. Got to see Dan Uggla play a few games. The Smokies are now a farm team of the Chicago Cubs, so there is a chance to see Jeff Samardzija get some playing time as he comes up through the ranks.

While visiting my brother in Cincinnati, we were able to see a Reds / Cubs game at Riverfront Stadium. This was just before the Great American Ball Park opened. Saw Sammy Sosa play. My son was quite enamored of him, then. I don't think so much enamoration is going on right now.

While in Las Vegas for a trade show, went with John and Mike (two friends / co-workers) to see the 51's play the Sidewinders (the Diamondback's AAA team) at Cashman Field. Saw Adrian Beltre pop a homer while he was recovering from injury.

So that's about it for pro sports. Another day, I'll list the motor racetracks that I've been to, both small and Bristol.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

2007 awakens

Well, it seems that I've cut my time to post a blog in half. I've looked around at many blogs and then try to figure out where I fit in in the world of blogs. I've seen good blogs that cover a variety of topics. I've seen good blogs that are published (seemingly) hourly. I've seen very good, very specialized blogs that I return to. And then I've seen a lot of blogs that are like the above, but just horrid. I figure that I'd try to fit somewhere in the middle. A bit of musing on music, TV and DVDs, books, genealogy and life in general. Okay, how pathetic does that sound? "I guess I'll just do whatever I want to and hope against all hope that it will come off as not being egotistical and perhaps somewhat decent."

This year, Angie decided that it would be good to simplify life. So, we turned off the TV most nights. Sure, we still watch the Wiggles and Praise Baby DVDs, but as far as having the TV on all the time, not so much.

With the bland offerings that the networks serve up, can you blame us? Two and a Half Men was very smartly written. I particularly enjoyed the one where Jake (the kid) is always forgotten and ends up in the rain as Ben Franklin. But now, innuendo has fallen by the wayside and the writers are being too blatant about the lives that Charlie and Alan lead. Enough. Don't watch it anymore. The New Adventures of Old Christine? Similar. I don't really care for Mrs. Brad Hall's acting. Her ex on the show? Same. The brother's character is quirky enough, and I adore the actress that plays New Christine, Emily Rutherfurd. She was on the sharp, but short lived Married to the Kellys. We gravitate to a few reliable standbys. Law & Order. "Did you fire me because I'm a ...?" Law & Order: Criminal Intent. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. We tried Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Angie likes it. I enjoy it. I could do with or without it. I've tried The Unit this year. I've only seen a few episodes. You knew that the kid that got recruited to BlackThorn wasn't going to be coming home soon. Formula and predictable. But it sort of fills in the gap that The Agency left. Sure, one has to suspend belief of reality, but isn't that one thing that TV programming is supposed to do?

For comedy, we've been leaning towards My Name is Earl, The Office and Scrubs. "Wait." you say. "Those shows are almost as blatant as Two and A Half Men." Possibly. I'm just telling it like it is. Run away from 30 Rock. We almost never watch shows live anymore. Tape it while the kids are getting ready for bed. Then we can save about 8-1/2 minutes per half hour of TV. And the kids don't need to be subjected to some of the situations being portrayed. Then again, I don't either.

Last night, with nothing on, Edison working on completing his Science Fair report, Angie working on DSAG and church stuff, I figured that I'd catch up on a few episodes of Buffalo Bill on DVD. Not a great show, but a very good one. I like Dabney Coleman. His fellow cast members are worth watching, too. Geena Davis, John Feidler (voice of Piglet, Mr. Peterson on The Bob Newhart Show) , Meshach Taylor (Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women), Joanna Cassidy (Margaret Chenowith on Six Feet Under), Charles Robinson (Mac Robinson on Night Court), and Max Wright. All solid actors.

The other night, while giving Caroline her night bottle, I put on Phil Keaggy's Philly Live DVD. She really like it, although I tried to go for the softer songs. Last night, before dinner, she pulled out the DVD case and said, "Fhilll?" I popped it in and was very pleased, both with her remembering who it was and with her choice in music.

There's more, I'm sure, that I could talk about, but this should do it for today. Tonight is a DSAG dinner and speaker. Angie's worked hard on pulling it together. I'm excited for Buddy's Bar-B-Q and a chance to hear Monica Franklin. Should be a good time. And then we can watch My Name is Earl, The Office, and CSI. Woohoo!