Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Adam versus Darwin

I had an interesting phone conversation this morning.  I realised immediately that it was not a telemarketer because there was no background noise of a big room full of talking people  -  and the caller gave his full name  -  and he had an Australian accent.

He introduced himself as a Jehovah's Witness and invited me to a meeting next Sunday in Subiaco which is about ten minutes up the Fremantle train line.  As he was polite and not pushy I politely declined his invitation and then he asked me if I believed in Creation  -  which I don't.

I told him that I had been to a very High Anglican boarding school and by the age of 16 I had formed my own ideas about the Bible which was that the first two chapters of the OT were fiction and the later ones were probably based on some truth but very partisan and to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Then I asked him how he had got hold of my phone number.  He said that he had been going through the telephone book and phoning anyone who lived in the Western Suburbs.  That sort of dedication is amazing and deserves that he brings in a good crowd.  All power to him and I wish him well although I refuse to believe for a minute that I was created from any man's rib and FYI men have 12 ribs on each side and have done so since the first humanoid.

I had my eyes checked out last Wednesday and was found to have cataracts but so far have not heard from the organisation nominated to remove them but it might be a good time to resign from COTA although someone has finally cleaned out the computers.  It is about time someone did and since two of the teachers are ex-IT people I suspect that one of them did it on the sly because I have been threatening to delete all the old files and been told that they probably belong to someone who will miss them when they are gone.  Both computers now think that they are named Boardroom 1 but since the password is the same for both anyway I can't see that it matters at all.

Today's Sudoku:-

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

There are vibrators and then again there are vibrators

I was diagnosed with a type of hereditary deafness when I was aged 20 and since my early thirties I have, on and off, worn a hearing aid.  The off times were when I had surgery to replace the ossicles in my middle ears but I have reached a stage where I can no longer hear my alarm clock which can be awkward.

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a "Sonic Alarm with Bed Shaker"  which has been sitting on my hall table for over a week.  The problem was that the instructions were in the fine print, with the buttons on the back and the display on the front and two buttons had to be  pressed simultaneously to change the settings.  I seriously considered asking GB1 to set it for me but today felt brave enough to tackle it myself on the assumption that if I totally messed things up then GB1 could fix it for me.

Hopefully it will now work although I haven't plugged in the bed-shaker bit and will not do so until I need to get up early.  It is very fancy with several levels of dimmer for the LED display, five different sound levels for the alarm (which will continue for 30 minutes unless turned off because I haven't yet managed to shorten the time for that and I assume that I would have woken up and turned if off by that time anyway).  When I tested the sound level for the alarm it scared the pants off the cats so I know that even without the bed shaker it will wake me if I turn the sound up.

The first thing on my Bucket List was to have my eyes tested and I now have cataracts which will need to be dealt with.  Because I have torn retinas in both eyes which were lasered into place a few years ago my optician is not confident that I will be able to simply have day surgery but might need to be hospitalised.  He is referring me, at my request, to the Lions Institute which did one of the laser treatments  -  and they are seriously good  -  so hopefully I will get the best possible treatment.

But it might mean boarding the cats for a while, a prospect which I haven't yet told them about but none of us is going to enjoy it.  In the immortal words of Donald Trump  -  we will have to see what happens.

Oooops! I forgot the Sudoku

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

My Bucket List

I have been compiling my Bucket list.  I am not sure how the phrase came into being but I gather that it is the things which I intend to do before I die.  I don’t think that my list closely resembles those of others who have listed their pre-demise must-do activities.

I started organising my list this morning and here it is:

Visit my Optometrist and get my eyes checked out for cataract and glaucoma and be tested for newer, stronger spectacles.  Appointment made.

Visit audiologist for hearing test and aids adjusted or replaced.  Appointment made.

Visit Podiatrist to see if he has any bright ideas on how to treat the exostosis in Right second toe.  I am not holding my breath on this one as a surgical podiatrist has already referred me to a corn cutter when I know that it needs surgery.  In the immortal words of Donald Trump  -  ‘we will see’.

Get the fridge door fixed.  Miele technician or handyman?

Organise an electrician to replace the flickering or dead lights.

Set my new alarm clock/bed shaker as I am sleeping through the alarm on my current alarm clock.

Organise for the ‘Big Persian’ to be taken away and cleaned.  Six years of two black cats and it is starting to look grubby.

Organise to have my pictures more securely hung.  I don’t trust the fishing line which Second Wife organised.  Parsifal (first cat) likes to swing them and a couple have fallen down.

Organise to have my limited edition  plates securely attached to a wall so that they can go on display.  They have been packed away for over six years.


I have given up on  the Mendus Family for now but there are still questions not yet answered.  They are like a willow-the-wisp and keep calling me back.  It is really a ‘just because they are there’ attraction and all of my Welsh connections are complicated by the limited number of Family Surnames  -  the Welsh having come to them later than the rest of England and they are mostly derived from Given names I.e. Thomas, Evans, Johns, Rees, Davies, Roberts, Richards, Rogers  etc. -  I am sure that you get the gist.

The Sudoku:-

A crash reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone.

Friday, March 30, 2018

I may have finally found my genealogical block

And I must have found it before because it was saved on

John Sexton appeared out of nowhere, claimed on his marriage certificate that he was a mariner and seemed to have risen, fully formed from the waves, like Venus.

What I discovered was a 1841 entry from the British Census  for a John Sexton, aged 19 years old and listed as an Able Seaman, address  -  Lifton Park House in Devon.  There were a couple of dozen names under that address which makes me wonder if it was a courtesy address for a Naval Training Facility  - and although I am unable to find any mention of one Devon would be the place to look.

I will keep on plugging away at it and maybe one day something more will come to light.

One thing I am sure of is that his father was not named John Ebenezer Sexton.  He had a son called Ebenezer John who died when he was in his early thirties, unmarried.  John's father was given a name John Ebenezer on my John's death registration and I suspect that it was a feasible made-up name to fill a place on the form.   I have scrolled through ancestry and there isn't a single John Ebenezer Sexton listed there in any category.  No easy contact with England when needed has caused this to happen before  - in my Davies family when Ted the Tanner's daughters were unable to work out who his first two wives had been they took a stab at it and probably got the right one but there is no proof.

I am getting very annoyed with Facebook and their proliferation of advertisements.  A couple of days ago I went to a site to check on lip gloss colours available and immediately there were company advertisements on Facebook.  All they do is to take up space and bandwidth and put in trackers which all have to be deleted before I log off.

I used to go there for the US politics but more and more I am going straight to U-tube and Rachel Maddow.  Her commentary is always enlightening and she manages to make politics interesting.

And now for the Sudoku.  I am not sure what I am going to do when I run out but I have a book of Limericks and some of them are actually reasonable clean  -   so maybe ...

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

Blondie, I notice that you are still listed as a follower; I'd love to hear from you if you are still out there -  just post in the comments.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Immortal Thomas Mendus

Since having my DNA analysed I have been working on my family tree again  -  it is an on and off sort of research.  I am back among the Davies's which is where I scored most of my Welsh DNA.  The Davies family was much-married and my 4 x great-grandmother was a Mendus.  Her father was Thomas Mendus whose son was Thomas Mendus who had a "base-born' son called Thomas Mendus who had a son .... I am sure that you get the gist.

Scrolling through looking for the birthdate of the original Thomas I have discovered that there are Thomas Mendus's listed right up until about the 1950s  -  and they are all cousins albeit much removed.  I googled the name and found that it originally came from Spain (Iberian Peninsular) and then to Russia (North West Russia) and now most people of that name are in USA and Russia but in the 1800s most of the family were in Wales.  And that accounts for most of my DNA  -  except for the Vikings.

I haven't needed to activate my Person Alarm and hopefully I never will but have now received three telemarketing calls, the last of which was during my knitting group amid much laughter as it appeared to be emanating from my belly.  When the caller heard the laughter she rapidly hung up.  I know that it is a 'she' because she calls at least once and often twice per day wanting all my personal details and rabbiting on about charities.  I actually decided to hear her out once but refused to give her all my personal details and she hung up in disgust. 

The Sudoku for the week:-

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao  -  until
You bring fresh toner.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Is this what I am in for now?

A few days ago I received, after some problems with my current postman which I will not go into today, the personal alarm which I ordered to make me feel safe from falling, dying and being eaten by my starving cats.

It is not really that bad but there is hardly anyone up here on the top floor of this apartment building and I only ever seem to meet the other residents when travelling up and down on the lift.  To make isolation more extreme there is no master key and anyone moving around the building needs a special fob to unlock the lift and any doors in and out of the secure areas.

Because my balance is not good due to vertigo there is always a danger that I might fall so I ordered and received a nifty little alarm which is basically a small mobile phone with five phone numbers programed in and which ring in sequence if I press the alarm button.  It also has a GPS tracker, speaker phone facility, a fall alert and I can phone the person who is No.1 in the call sequence which is D2.

So far, in the two days I have been wearing it, I have had two telemarketer calls and one call from someone who wanted to speak to Stephen.  Not exactly what I had expected.

Ever since I received my DNA readout I have been busy upgrading and adding to my Family Tree.  There were a couple of sticking points with my much-married Davies family, the ones who have given me such a huge percentage of Welsh genes.  The first sticking point was the maiden name of  *Ted the Tanner's mother but I have, after spending the whole of Saturday and part of yesterday scrolling through census and BMD records for Wales found her in England.  Luckily she had a slightly unusual given name which has been perpetuated down the generations  -  and the others who had her on their trees were right all along.  My problem is that I need proof and sources, not just someone else's work (or guesses).

My second sticking point was with her daughter Elizabeth (actually there were two shown)  The difficulty for me was that the first Elizabeth is recorded as having died the very day that the second Elizabeth was born.  I know that sometimes a subsequent child was named after a dead sibling but the callousness and the timing had me suspicious.

So I have concluded that there was only one Elizabeth Davies and I think that she remained unmarried but I will have to hunt through the 1861 and 1891 census records to be sure.  It is enough to give me crossed eyes  -  it is very tedious.

*I should explain  -  a distant cousin who lives over the other side of Australia collaborated with me to search out our Welsh forebears:  The patriarch was David Davies and he has a son Edward and a grandson also Edward so we identified them by their professions  -  Ted the Tanner and Ed the Architect.

Today's Sudoku:-

With much searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

DNA - no surprises there

My DNA results came back yesterday and there was nothing pointing to anything exotic which might have explained my B blood group.

39% is made up of Ireland/Scotland/Wales.  So far I have not come across anyone on my family tree who came from Scotland, I have an Irish great great grandfather and until I discovered him I thought that I was almost the only one in the world who had no Irish ancestry and then there are the prolific and much represented Davies family from Wales who were, and still are prone to scatter their seed in a somewhat random fashion over the known world.

Next on the list are the Vikings who represent 23%.  Also scoring 23% is the Southern England (Wales and West Midlands) contingent, followed by what are described as Low Confidence Regions:  Iberian Peninsular 4%, West Europe 4%. South Europe 3%, Finland/Northwest Russia 2% and East Europe 2%: and my Great Grandmother was so proud of her Prussian blood!  Oh dear!

Actually, I do have a Prussian ancestor, born in the 1600s who moved to England and married an English woman,  I have that family tree thanks to research (not by me) of all the Sugar Bakers in England.  Harman was a sugar baker (look it up).

I realise that only those who have had DNA samples analysed and who have connected them to their family trees are featured in the count but it lists only two of the Davies relatives and I know one of them of old; we researched our family together with amazing results although we have never actually met face to face.  There was one other Davies with whom I had contact as I have helped with his research in the past. He featured as well but I would have expected to see him as he had a specific reason for his search for his family and DNA would have been a part of it.

Other than that, the two third cousins whom I met a couple of months ago were there along with everyone in the English-speaking world whose name is Smith listed as possible matches the premise being that if you have someone named Smith on your family tree then they must be connected somewhere  -  a very false assumption when considering the number of craftsmen who were smiths of one sort or another  -  and so far I haven't found any who are remotely related to me.  And yes, I have some Smiths on my tree, but not these ones.

All a bit disappointing  -  I had at least expected a smattering of Mongolians and Chinese but my B blood group must have originated with those much travelled traders, the Vikings.

And yet another Sudoku:

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
So beautifully.