TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"The TSGS Cruiser Blog Master is Back!"

Power came back on about 2 hours ago. We are running around the house turning on lights and marveling about it. TV is a very interesting item after nearly 4 days. Heat is a very pleasant feeling. You can have heat going and the coffee perking all at the same time. We take all of these things for granted. God has never let us suffer more than we can handle, and with His help we went through this quite well.

The repair crews for the utility company just quickly cut a path through the fifty or so big limbs crossing our back yard on top of our power line and pulled it back up to their pole in the alley. Two hours later they had everyone hooked up in our sector and they turned on the power. It sure was a special moment. This was the first time we have had to endure this long without electric power in the winter (last night it was down to 15 degrees or colder). We were warm as toast under 10 blankets all night, but it sure was cold this morning.

This article and yesterday's is not all that genealogical, but it does provide a little bit of historical documentation of the Great Ice Storm of the tri-state area. - JGWest

Friday, January 30, 2009

"No Power for TSGS Cruiser Blog Master"

Wed. morning at about 3AM our power to the house (from the down line transformers) went out due to the terrible ice & snow storm. Neighbors across the street has allowed us to run a cord across to them to give us a little electric power until ours come on. We got the living room temp up to 50 degrees with a small space heater that will keep us from having freezing water pipes (leaving the water trickling to keep it from freezing, as well). This morning we were able to perk some coffee, turn it off and turn the small space heater back on. I knew our cable was ok since the phone works. I tested the TV this moring and it works, so I came in to the computer to check some of the email and put something on the blog to let the world know that TSGS is still blogging along! We should be able to survive... this weekend is expected to get warmer. Our back yard is completely full of huge limbs the size of trees. The branches reach 10 to 12 feet into the air! Our un-attached garage is completely covered in fallen limbs. Our Pine Tree in the front yard lost a lot of large limbs, too. Across the street down the block looks as bad. Many have had trees crash into or through their homes. We are lucky so far.

We are hoping that the the electric line from the power pole is ok, it is pulled down by the limbs like the cable, but seems connected at both ends. We will know when they get power to us. Our utility company Vectren reports that they have about 1/2 million homes without power in southern Indiana and Kentucky. - JGWest (turning off computer and turning space heater back on) Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"We Got a Little Snow in Evansville"

I am a little late getting this online this morning, we had to dig out the car. As you can see there was a little digging to be done in the picture below. Thanks to my neighbor, I got to the car and it started right up. I figure this time next week, I might get to drive it out of this spot.

So, I had to walk to the office. In the photo below, I almost lost my lunch bag of yogurt! The doctor said my back will be as good as new in a few months.

None of the above happened to me... it is only a joke. But, it did take a good 45 minutes to get all the ice off the windows of the car. They decided to close the office today where I work, but I wanted to be ready to go in case of an emergency. I took the car around the immediate area (the side streets) and then on Kentucky Avenue and my little 4-wheel drive Pontiac Vibe did quite well, but I felt the wheels slipping as it went along. I saved the photos above for our first nice snow (we only got about 1-2 inches of snow on top of a lot of sleet and a little on top of the snow, but more is to come). During slippery, snowy weather, if you have to get out at all, please drive carefully and allow plenty of time and distance to stop.

The above photos come from Strange Dangers.com with all kinds of unbelievable photos like the two above. - JGWest

Monday, January 26, 2009

“Find A Grave.com”

Genealogists are actually strange people, but loving caring people. We go out of our way to help total strangers learn something new about their family history. We will listen patiently while someone tells us all about their family that we do not know... just to hear of their “great find.” We will go to the library or online to find that little piece of information that someone needs. We will even go to a cemetery to take a picture for them and send it to them. My mother (who encouraged me a lot to learn about my family) often would say that I cared more for “dead people” than I did for the living. I deny that charge! However, it is not good for my case when I can remember the birthdays of all of my deceased family, but can not remember most of the ones who are still celebrating birthdays. I have to look up my sister or brother's addresses, but I know where all of my ancestors lived. Alright, maybe I do think about those who have come and gone before me a little more than those still around. I did say that genealogists were strange.

This blog has a story about us genealogists and our running around the countryside finding tombstones of our ancestors... “The Big Doggie” story about my son when he was little, he thought we went into any and all cemeteries looking for relatives. He probably thought “relatives” meant people buried in cemeteries. When he was young, we, as a family, traveled around in Kentucky finding cemeteries and graves of our ancestors. We took photos of the grave markers, because it was easier than copying them with pen and paper. Later, people went around and made tombstone transcriptions of what was on these markers for entire cemeteries and publishing them in books for us to look them up in the index instead of walking the entire cemetery looking for them. Then we would go and take a picture of it, anyway! Later, the Internet gave us people who started up an online group called “Acts of Kindness” with volunteers who would look things up for you where they lived that was a distance away for you... this included taking tombstone photos for you. Now, we have a newer version of helping strangers find out about their ancestors and families through “Find A Grave.com” - an online grave memorial & photo database with contributions from volunteers. Many will post their own family's information, but will take photos for others, too. Some will create a “virtual cemetery” for different subjects of interests to them. An example may be the graves of all the soldiers for Company K of the 11th. Calvary of Kentucky with anyone finding one of them submitting the data & photo to that virtual cemetery in order for them to all be listed together with their individual cemetery locations provided. Another one may have everyone that was born in your hometown... these are listed no matter where in the world they were buried. This project has been going on for a number of years with some having nearly a million memorials online with thousands of tombstone photos. I volunteered just this month and I already have almost 50 memorials and over 100 photos – oh, I forgot, not all of the photos are of grave markers... there are also photos of the person included!

My family has always had a very important tradition of honoring our dead with flowers on their graves for Memorial Day (Decoration Day). Mom did this every year. I would take her to all of the graves in Evansville and sometimes in Kentucky. So, now, I do it, mostly, just in Evansville. There are about 60 graves my wife & I decorate each year. We will continue this tradition, and on Find A Grave, we can also, now, leave “virtual flowers” (photos or graphics of flowers or other items) on the memorial page for any and all of our family that is online. If they are not yet online, we can start our own memorial for them. You can search for who you want to find and if they are online, you will see what cemetery that they are buried and hopefully their marker with dates of birth & death along with a possible biography or obituary. Perhaps the best part of this is that you (or someone else) can post a memorial of a family member or friend and ask for a photo of them to be posted by someone else. Check it out at: Find A Grave.com .
- JGWest