Poking Holes

Fractals are really awesome. I realize that sounds just a little hyperbolic, but that doesn’t make it untrue. As a teenager, I had a Julia Set “centerfold” on my wall (courtesy of OMNI Magazine) – I suppose a Grateful Dead poster would have had a similar look while being a lot more cool, but I was a tiny bit nerdy and had no appreciation for Jerry Garcia’s talent at the time. As beautiful as Julia was though, she wasn’t my first fractal … Continue reading

Sonnet 1

There was a time I thought myself quite the poet. Because of that somewhat misguided belief, I devoted far too much time to reading and writing poetry (Jane Austin would not have approved). Not much of it was very good, and most of it has gone away now, but I’ve still got a few pieces that I enjoyed. My favorite was written twenty-one years ago for my wife, before she was my wife, and when she looked on me with a suspicious eye. She’s since told me she’s not a particular fan of poetry, but I didn’t know that at the time and thought it was worth a shot. So, in the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing it with you … Continue reading

Filling In the Blanks

One of the seeds of my genealogical research is a set of photocopied Family Group Sheets carefully prepared by my uncle and aunt in the late 1970s and early 80s. They spent more than a decade visiting archives, cemeteries, courthouses, and family members. As they gathered information, they documented their findings by hand on dozens of pages of forms. It was an enormous amount of work … Continue reading

What’s In A Name?

A few years ago, my local Family History Center reopened after an extensive remodel of the building which houses it. Although I find that I spend more time there working on other people’s genealogy than my own, I found myself looking forward to going back. I noticed two things during my first walk-through: 1) the bundles of wire under the desks (kick one and all the computers would lose their internet connection) were gone, and 2) it was a lot smaller. Continue reading