Saturday, August 16, 2008

e pluribus unum

Yeah, I know it means "Out of many, one." But the context in which I saw this today about blew me away. You see, this is more than a motto for one lucky American woman, this was her name: Epluribus Unum Dillard Sudduth.

I don't know about you, but I can't even imagine what would lead parents to name their child in such a way. And since this person was born in 1863 Texas, you have to wonder what their motive was. But there you are, this was a real person born in 1863 and died in 1932.

I am a weird name collector. This is something I've been doing since my second job, which was as a clerk in the medical records department of a local hospital. It's fascinating, when you are a genealogist, to see naming patterns in families, but some naming patterns are just bad.

For instance there were the Setter sisters, English and Irish. Look, mom & dad, don't name your children after dogs! Then again, not being present at the birth of these two lovelies, maybe the names were appropriate.

And why would anyone in their right mind name their daughter Chanda Lear. Don't they realize the ribbing that child will take?

Even my own family, thankfully many times removed from the present, are guilty with Pleasant Chinn and Dimple Chinn. Ok, those can even be considered cute. And I'm thinking the parents of Napoleon Bonnieparts Logsdon just didn't know how to spell it. And Arizona Dove Carpenter was the mother of General Curtis LeMay (Bombs away LeMay), how did she deal with her name?

I guess people making up names for their children is not new and there is a trend now to name your child something unique, but maybe this trend isn't so new after all.

I'll close now with just a few more, sent by a friend: Pryor Breeding, Preserved Smith, and Fanny Rash. After that, what else can you say?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Voice Mail Lady

As stated in an earlier post, we have Charter cable, internet and phone. Not long after we were assigned our phone number, we received a series of wrong numbers. All from the same number! This number had us scrambling to figure out who the he!! kept calling us and not leaving a message.

One day, after several attempts by the wrong number the following message was left on our voice mail:

In a southern drawl, "Sorry, I keep dialing the wrong number to retrieve my voice mails. I hope that hasn't inconvenienced you. It seems that our numbers are sequential and I keep dialing yours by mistake. I thought I'd let you know why you have so many hangups."

DH and I are thinking "Is this woman for real?" Our caller ID reveals that this is not true, her number ends in 1 and ours in 4.

A couple of weeks passed and we feel that Voice Mail Lady has finally gotten a handle on her phone number. Yay.

Not so fast. A few days later VML left this message on our voice mail:

"You have reached Voice Mail Lady. Please leave your name, number and a brief message and I will return your call as soon as possible."

When DH and I picked our selves up off the floor and I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes, we wondered why she left an outgoing message on our voice mail after hearing our outgoing message.

It's now been ten months since we moved here and ten months of mostly hangups when VML realizes she's called our number yet again. Sometimes, however, we pick up and actually get to talk to VML. She still thinks our number and her number are sequential, but I haven't the heart to disillusion her. Fortunately, I guess, she no longer leaves outgoing messages on our voice mail. I think she is no longer that technically challenged. We'll have to find another unsuspecting soul to entertain us!

Blogger in Disguise

No, I really don't have a mustache*. Long story about the Groucho glasses.

Many years ago, some friends and I were taking our semi-annual trip to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For you non-genealogists, that library has a huge genealogy collection, second or third to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Since my chances of ever making that trip to Salt Lake City seem to dwindle as the years go by, I try to avail myself of the resources at hand. When we lived in Michigan, that trip to Fort Wayne was just a little over 3 hours and for several years, the twice yearly trip was well-planned and eagerly embarked upon.

One year, we discovered that one of the local genealogical societies would be making a one day trip there during our stay. Since we were familiar with many of the members of that tour, and hoping to avoid recognition (snicker) I bought some sets of Groucho glasses/nose/mustache and passed them out to my co-conspirators .. er .. fellow researchers.

Yes, we played hard on our trips, but we also researched like crazy. I still have my glasses. Maybe it's time to take another trip to Fort Wayne!

*The avatar was created using Portrait Illustration Maker.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sorry I Can't Come To The Blog Right Now

What can I say? The Olympics are on. Which would I rather do, stare at a computer screen or at the new HDTV and watch men in tights and men in tight bathing suits?

Speaking of bathing suits, I find it quite disturbing that I can no longer tell the men swimmers from the women swimmers. The men used to wear Speedos and were buff and cute and sometimes bald ... er I digress. Now basically the men and the women wear the same type of suit and you can't tell the men from the women without looking at the race header - Men's 200 meter, Women's 200 meter -to figure out the sex. And it isn't the suits as much as it is the size of the women? They ain't no anorexic figure skaters and that is for sure! These are women with the physique some men would envy! Yikes.

I also enjoy leering .. er watching the men's gymnastics. It's amazing how strong these guys are. I can't even imagine getting up on those rings or the high bar or erk the pommel horse. That thing is down right scary. And the vault? It constantly amazes me. And they do it in these cute outfits.

Women's gymnastics is fun to watch to, and I love the all-around where they have to compete on all the different apparatus and the floor exercise. Watching the drama queens boo-hoo after a misstep I can live without.

The other sport that really fascinates me is rowing. Especially when you have several rowers in a boat or scull. Is that beautiful or what? I don't know where I was when coordination was handed out, but to me to see all that synchronization is wonderful.

Diving. What can you say - watching these people on the platform dive and somersault and twist and pike without injuring themselves is fascinating.

But unfortunately there are some sports that I don't bother with. Beach volleyball? C'mon! Synchronized swimming is sheer idiocy and not a sport, although maybe they should get credit for not drowning. And I absolutely refuse to watch any professional athlete as in tennis and basketball (and in Winter Olympics hockey) play. In my mind, they have usurped the place of the amateur athlete so they can indulge themselves.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Many Times Can We Cut That Cable Line?

When we lived in Michigan during the last 18 years we lived without cable. In many ways that was a wonderful thing. We had a roto-tenna that brought us regular TV, no History Channel, no HGTV - gasp - no MSNBC morning, noon and night. And we lived without it happily until we went on vacation and were introduced to Court TV, History channel and MSNBC. And yes, in the back of our minds, we knew we would need cable if we wanted more than one TV station.

Here we are 10 months into our great adventure and 10 months of Charter cable, internet and telephone. They're fine when they work. Unfortunately, I think the people who are doing the road construction on Fairground street have inbred too much since they've cut our cable no less than 5 times in the two months since we've had the cable installed at our new home. I mean really, how many times can you cut through a cable in the same place?

Today's conversation with Charter Cable (located anywhere but here):

DH: (when finally connected to a service rep) I'd like to report an outage.

Charter: Let me help you, sir. Let's see if we can bring up your internet.

DH: Everything is out, TV, phone and internet.

Charter: There are no reported outages in your area.

DH: I'm reporting one now! This happens frequently.

Charter: Sorry, sir. The earliest we can send someone is tomorrow.

There is a reason that Charter television is the lowest rated cable system. We ran errands this afternoon to avoid staring at static tv and blank computer screens. I can hardly wait for Charter to call and ask how their service was.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Manic Ice Maker

I love ice water. Really, I do. Especially when it has a lemon wedge in it. I absolutely can not drink tap water. I am a water snob.

One thing I really insisted on when we were in the process of building our TN home was a french door stainless steel fridge with an icemaker. We'd never had the experience of an icemaker before our rented condo, and it was just so convenient. No more going in the fridge for ice and finding the ice cubes had evaporated in the ice trays. No more dribbling water on the floor from sink to fridge.

I'm sure not many people have had the enjoyment of shopping for appliances with my DH. When choosing the colors, counters, flooring, finishes for our house, he pretty much deferred to my judgement. Not so on the appliances. He set a budget for appliances without even considering that the only new appliance we bought in the last 10 years was a new dishwasher. That budget he nailed. The stove, microwave/range hood and dishwasher we had some choice on and we did change out the dishwasher. The refrigerator was another matter.

Probably the one thing about this little TN town I don't like is the lack of store competition. There are no big box stores like Target and Best Buy. We do have scaled down versions of Sears, Penneys and Kohls, an Electronics Express store and a couple independent appliance stores, and furniture shopping is a real chore here. We spent hours and he agonized over the cost.

At any rate, we made the rounds of Sears, Electronics Express, Lowes and the independant appliance store. We found a model we liked at Lowes at a price we could live with and after our builder's discount, it wasn't that much over budget.

Fast forward to refrigerator delivery day. Truck pulls up to house shortly before the asphalt people show up. No fridge on truck. Blah! Apparently Lowes sold our great deal to someone else.

Closing day finally arrives with final payoff and news that we'll have to either special order (10 days) or find something else because the store no longer has it in stock, but Lowes would make us happy. Much to Lowes chagrin, there was nothing the store that remotely went with our other appliances, had the features we wanted or that would fit in the alotted space. So we special ordered our great deal, Lowes ate the additional cost and waited another week for our fridge.

The thing I really like about the fridge is that it does not have an icemaker or water dispenser in the door. Yes, it has the requisite icemaker and the water dispenser is located on the inside of the fridge. And yes, we spent more on a french door model, but it has been very convenient except for one thing: the icemaker is possessed. No way can we keep up with the amount of ice it makes. The more we use, the more it makes. And sometimes those ice cubes come out all attached and sometimes in transporting them from freezer to glass they break apart and leave little chips of ice which become drips of water on the floor!