Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The first Comtois (well, he was a Gilbert or Gillebert dit Comtois)

Here is the first evidence of Louis Gilbert dit Comtois in Quebec City. He was sick at the Hotel Dieu in QC on December 31, 1717.  The record is just past 1/2 way down the page. He is listed as 19 years old and a member of M. Ameriton's company (in the Troupe de la Marine).  It looks like he is called "Eloy" - maybe a nickname and says he is from Besancon in Franche Comte.

Gillbert- Sick List

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Family Vacation

Went on a great, two week vacation to Paris, London and Ireland recently.  We had a great time and each place was different and offered it's own charms.  Paris is Paris - we stayed in a flat (actually a converted old workshop in the middle of the block across from St. Severin's in the Latin Quarter) and saw all the sites and had a blast.  London was a relatively quick two-days where we were based out of a flat near King's Cross station.  We then took the train to Holyhead in Wales and took the ferry to Dublin.

Dublin was fun and then we went to Carlow where our girls did some Irish Step Dancing with a local instructor and some of their fellow dancers from their studio here in Rhode Island (that was actually the main impetus for the trip).  My folks also met us there and we had fun around Carlow and a day trip to Kilkenny.

After that, we went our own way down thru Tipperary and Cork to Kenmare, the Ring of Kerry and then Dingle and the Penninsula. Then it was off to Kilrush where my wee bit o' Irish is from (the Purtell family).  It was there that I talked with the owner of our B & B a bit and the subject of Irish and immigrants (Polish, mostly) on the dole came up.  According to her, the first wave of immigrants worked hard, the second not as much and the third is just coming over to be on the dole.  Sounds familiar. 

After that we went to Kilkee and walked along the cliffs there (awesome) then headed up to the Burren and the Alwee Caves.  We wrapped up the trip eating pizza in Shannon and flew home. 16 days seemed too short.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Awesomely Brave Sister

My sister Jana had a brain tumor a couple years ago and blogged about it. Well, it came back and she has had a second brain surgery - and she's blogging about it again. I was always a little afraid of her even though she's two years younger than me; I worried she could kick my ass.  I still think she could...and she can definitely kick tumor ass, too.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Princess Charming

R.J. Moeller at Acculturated on why guys like Kate Middleton

[T]he vibe that Middleton gives off is one that says, “I really like my husband, and his presence is my present”. Not in any sort of “I’ll be the doting Leave It To Beaver wife caricature hardcore feminists mock” way, but in a, “I married a man I enjoy being with, and we’re going to make this unique situation we find ourselves in work” fashion that can’t help but catch you attention.

This public, visible, and seemingly genuine support for her husband is attractive to other men. It is said that girls are on the lookout for their “Prince Charming”, but I would add that most guys are on the lookout for their Duchess of Cambridge as well. We want someone who likes us and thinks we are worth their time, love, and public endorsement.

This, of course, leads into another discussion (for another time) of men needing to be worthy of such affection and admiration, but the fact remains that when men see another man’s wife treating him well in front of others, something stirs in his soul that all of the pornography, casual sex, and krunked-out partying in the world can’t erase from his memory.

Sure, men like Kate Middleton for some fairly superficial reasons. But they also like her because she represents what they ultimately want and aspire to be worthy of.
I'd say that's true.  I always put it this way: yes, love and caring and nurturing is nice and essential to a happy marriage, but when it comes right down to it, we all want a spouse who will have our back through thick and thin; but especially when we really screw something up.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ubiquitously Ephemeral

I'm everywhere online, it seems. This blog, another blog (though increasingly less frequently 'twould appear), old blogs (up above there), Twitter and Facebook. Lots of presence, lots of words--too many probably.  For what? To hear myself talk (or "see" myself "write")?

The act of writing organizes thoughts. But now is seems like my thoughts on various and sundry topics have been organized and filed already.  I've written and opined for a decade or so on may topics and now I feel like, too often, I'm just repeating myself.  It's a challenge to say something new about the same ol' same ol', isn't it?  To not repeat yourself or echo others? I guess that's nothing new. But it's a tough standard and one to which I scarcely adhere. I guess the trick is to say the same thing in new and interesting ways.  Or don't say anything at all.

So onward. Writing organizes, yes. But it also takes work, which means practice, which means, you know, actually writing.  Not tweeting, not "posting". Writing. I've actually produced a tangible work before, I think I can again.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Twitter Killed the Blogging Star

The title is a bit of hyperbole, but time was I maintained two blogs and contributed to a third. Now? I contribute to that same third.  What happened? Twitter.  I don't know if it's good or not, but I suspect not. Trying to debate and cram in thoughts in 140 or so characters isn't as fulfilling....but it's quicker. And it helps you avoid having to write about stuff, really. You just tweet out a link to a story, add a pithy comment and it's gone, done with. Hey, you handled it.

Oh so many years ago (like around 5), you'd read a story or just have a thought (or have a thought on a story) and you'd provide the link in the course of a 2-5 paragraph excursion, complete with blockquotes from the story as well as from other related items.  Now you tweet a link.

It's quick, it's also lazy but I don't think it's going to change.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Modern Technology and the Long Distance Relationship

In 1993 I worked as a merchant mariner on ship anchored in the lagoon of Diego Garcia, which is a small island in the Indian Ocean that serves as a staging ground for the U.S. military.  Back then, I paid $100 once a week to talk to my fiance for 30 minutes.  I waited for her letters like they were gold.  17 years and two kids later, it was enough to help get us through! But it was tough.  Nowadays, people in the same situation can email regularly, talk on the phone via the web and even "skype" each other to see the ones they love.  Keeping a long-distance relationship is certainly easier now.