This week Mom sent me an article she had seen in the Athens paper about ghost tours in southern cities. One of the cities was Pensacola, which is a very old city. Here is a quote from the article:

Roberts’ favorite stories include the story of Pensacola’s Dr. Eugenio Antonio Sierra, who was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in 1849 after he lived to 99. Dr. Sierra used a guillotine to perform amputations on patients in his home office.

Mom pointed out that Dr. Eugenio Sierra is my great great great great grandfather. He was born in Spain and settled in Pensacola when Florida was still a Spanish colony. For some reason that gave me the bug and I was off to the internet to do some research. I found a lot of Dr. Sierra’s descendents, but then got kind of stuck connecting them to me. Eventually I found all of that, got some help from Mom, and went to Family Search a genealogy website run by the Mormons. The Mormons are big promoters of genealogy and Family Search has information from tons of scanned historical records. Plus the internet in general is easy to search and find stuff out, including from a lot of genealogy websites. I will post more later, but I have been putting in records of my ancestors (not much of it was there already, though it isn’t always easy to match up with existing data). I still have nothing on Mamaw’s family yet.

You can do a family tree which always seem to take up way more room than they need to. And Family Search does that right with lots of pop-outs and collapsing information, plus the ability to pan around the tree. But Family Search has another graphical way of seeing all of this: the fan chart. The top part of the fan chart is your ancestors (they save a lot of space by doing away with all of the siblings). And the lower part can be your descendants, but since I don’t have any of those at the moment, I don’t have a lower section of the fan chart. One of the funny things is next to my name on the family tree is a blank spot that says “Add Wife” as if it were that easy. And even though it is Mormon, you can’t add more than one wife, but there are ways to deal with people who get remarried. I don’t think you can have same sex marriages yet though (I can’t add a husband).

So here’s my chart, which you have to click on to be able to read any of it:


New Counter and Sink

My kitchen has always needed some work. The green and white formica counters, the dripping faucet, the stained and cracked cast iron sink, the pink wallpaper, etc. I didn’t want to do a total renovation, but I figured I could update some parts. I went to Home Depot and talked to a kitchen designer and we charted out a makeover that would replace the counter, sink, faucet, flooring, and add a tile backsplash for about $2700. For the counter, the basic level is laminate or formica. Then there is a big jump in price to about 3 times that price where you can get granite, quartz, or Corian. I figured formica would be okay and less maintenance than granite. I picked out a Delta faucet that got good reviews and a thicker than average stainless steel sink from Kohler. One problem with the cast iron sink was that if I dropped a glass or dish in the sink, it was pretty much a gonner, but stainless is a little bouncier and hopefully will save some glassware. The same thinking was behind getting a vinyl floor instead of ceramic tile.

A few weeks ago, a guy came and measured for the counter and praised my choice of laminate over granite. He said the counter should be read “week after next” which would have been the week before last. The official estimate was 2-3 weeks. 3 weeks was last week. I was hoping they would install it on Columbus Day since I would be off anyway, but they sent me a notice saying it would be last Tuesday, the day after Columbus Day.

Old sink and counter
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Shopping for a Suit

Lately I have been wanting to get a new suit and a blue blazer. They were old anyway, but I got attacked by moths and a lot of my nice clothes got eaten up. I think I have gotten rid of the moths now (for the most part), but now I really need a suit and jacket. The last suit I got was when I first went to work 23 years ago and got a suit from Kuppenheimer, who were eventually bought out by Mens Wearhouse. Kuppenheimer sold pretty reasonably priced suits and that suit lasted a long time. It was a dark charcoal gray which is good for pretty much anything. It saw a lot of weddings and funerals.

So I’m looking around for someplace to get a suit and Joseph A Bank seems to fill a good niche. On the internet people say “JAB” sells cheap suits that are very blocky (closer fitting clothes seem to be in right now, blocky is probably never good). Internet guys think everyone should get MTM suits (made to measure) instead of OTR (off the rack). MTM isn’t 100% custom, but it is close. But they’re spending $1,000 on a suit and I want to spend about $300. So Brooks Brothers is out along with most tailors. Jeb said he was happy with a suit he got at JAB, though lately his experiences were not as good there. I also could try Macy’s who have suits and blazers by Ralph Lauren that seem like they might be a little less blocky than some of the JAB stuff.
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At work I sometimes wear button down oxford cloth shirts. Usually white, but some light blue. I’ve found that LL Bean makes a great oxford shirt, 100% cotton with a nice substantial weight to it (I like the looks and the quality much better than Lands’ End, which I gave up on as they got worse and worse in an effort to keep the price at some point). They used to have regular and non-wrinkle, but now everything is non-wrinkle (or wrinkle resistant). I have the shirts done at a cleaner so I don’t have to iron them either way. I ironed my own shirts for maybe a year or two before giving up and paying the dollar or so per shirt to have someone else take care of them. Another really nice shirt from LL Bean is their pinpoint oxford shirt which has much finer threads that give the fabric a slight sheen, almost like silk. In white, it isn’t that noticeable, but it is really nice with light blue. But LL Bean now charges $50 for that shirt (looks like now they are charging $40 for the regular oxford; I think I last paid $34.50).

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GoDaddy Gone!

I’ve had internet domains with GoDaddy for years now. They were cheap and they usually had pretty good discounts available for renewing so that I could keep a domain for a year for less than $10. But lately the discounts aren’t as good and I’ve never liked their marketing or web interface, so last year I transferred to NameCheap, which I had used before their prices went up, but a transfer there was cheaper than GoDaddy’s renewal. I had and (the old domain which forwards to the newer hyphenless domain) still at GoDaddy but about to expire. GoDaddy is infuriating because of the games with prices and then they try to upsell you with all kinds of things. I heard that NameSilo was cheap, didn’t play all of those games, and had a pretty clean control panel. So today I transferred the two flashlight domains to NameSilo. I’ll probably transfer igirder next. The only thing I didn’t realize was that I had renewed flashlightwiki for 2 years last time, so it didn’t actually expire until November 2014 instead of November of this year. But NameSilo said they would renew for 1 year past the current expiration date, so now flashlightwiki is good until November 2015.
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