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Blog #185



More Snow!


     Today was a snow day!  We had a great time outside and built snowmen with our neighbors in their backyard as well as ours.  I groomed a new ski trail and towed the kids around the yards with the snowmachine.  Joan and I rode the Ski Doo around the block; it was her first snowmobile ride ever.  The packed trail was hard enough to ski on today and it looks like the snow might stick around until Sunday.  This is the most snow we've had all winter and my trail is in great shape.  I started the snow blower for only the second time this winter.  I took a few movie clips to document the Official Tallmadge Cross Country Ski Trail; look for a clip on the movie page.


I think this one looks Canadian.


The girls had a ball on the sled and never wanted to quit.


Here's our snowman; I call him Leany the Snowcat.  Svea named her Fauna.


I messed around with the picture and tweaked an alien moon look.


The Girls Make Cookies

Joan had the girls make no bake cookies yesterday.




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Blog #184



Snow More


     What a busy week.  We had enough snow this week for me to set a skate track around the house and ski Wednesday through Saturday.  I totaled 13 miles or 143 laps.  Saturday evening it started to rain and had turned it to mush by Sunday morning.  By this morning all of the snow was gone.  The temperature has dropped again and snow is possible; I'm not holding my breath, however.  The ski season in Tallmadge this year may only have been four days long.

   Brigitta's reading at the primmer level is becoming fluent; check out a movie clip of her reading to Anni on the movie page.  Annika is about 85 percent potty trained.  She also is starting to annunciate the s-sound properly.

   Our kitchen faucet had an integrated under the counter filter that has leaked into a bucket for the past five years; even after we had American Substandard send replacement parts that leaked a little less than the original parts.  Finally the filtered water spout broke off which somehow made regular water flow from both orifices with two trajectories.  The main seal also leaked.  Joan and I bought a new faucet yesterday as well as a separate under the counter dual filter system.  The sink drains had lost most of their chrome and showed worn brass on the surface, so we replaced them also.  Everything works well and looks good now.

   Saturday night we had a very nice, but late, visit with a friend from school.  The girls had fun but passed-out after just a few minutes in the car.



Annika Makes a Little Snowman... (indoors)



Svea at 100 Years Old

The 2nd grade at IHM celebrated to 100th day of school by dressing as centurions.  Svea really hammed it up.




More Milk Drop Photos


  I took some more milk drop photos this weekend and manipulated them highly.  Below are two of the six best.  See the other's on my Milk Drop page.



Check out a 1/8 speed movie clip of milk drops on the movie page.


Butte Alaska Panorama - 2006


  I finally got around to stitching together a series of six pictures that I took on top of the Butte in the Matanuska Valley Alaska back in 2006.  Together they form a 360 degree panorama.  I'd attempted to stitch them together before, but I had a lot of trouble lining up the seems.  All of the pictures had to be rotated and some had to be resized.  Once stitched together they formed a severe arch; Paint.NET's Tube Oblique feature straightened it out somewhat.  The exposure white balance, contrast and saturation were noticeably different in each photo.  The color and lighting shifts bother me, but I'm glad I worked it as far as I did.


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Blog #183




Snow Day & Half Marathon


     We got about three inches of snow last night so the city school districts that provide our busses called off school; IHM has to call off school whenever it's supporting districts declare a snow day.  It was a little cold and windy; but I really don't see how the weather was a hazard.  I'm guessing that someone in charge was itching to use at least one snow day this winter and might have been afraid that this might be our only opportunity.  (Joan just informed me that school was called off because it was only five degrees with a wind chill of -12, which can be tough on kids who walk to school.  When I was a child I walked to school at 20 below zero...) 


   Not that I'm complaining... 


   I considered skiing yesterday, but when I called the snow conditions hotline I learned that Chapin Forest only had two inches of fresh snow that was due to be groomed later in the day.  Two inches of fresh snow over bare ground just isn't enough.  It snowed a bit more overnight and I figured the packed snow would have hardened enough to make it skiable.  I drove north around noon today and found the the trail was indeed machine set but untouched by skiers.  The widest and best trail is a .7 mile long road that is closed in the winter so that it can be set for skiing.  The end of the road is about a 100 foot elevation gain.  My goal was to ski its length and back 11 times; that's 15 miles or 25 K.  I did it.  Twenty five kilometers is significant because its half a marathon.  In my prime, when I lived in Alaska, I would ski 50 K twice a week.  I don't think I move quite as quickly, but I think I could still ski 50 K in one push.  Today I felt like I could have used some food at 10 miles, but I didn't feel too bad when I stopped.



Genealogy Once Again


   My Great (X 21 or so) Grandfather was William I of Scotland, "The Lion" (1143-1214).  I figure that he is one of my 8,000,000 ancestors from his generation, not counting cousins marrying 5th cousins, etc.  I guess that makes me 1/8,000,000 royalty!  From his perspective, if he had three children, who each had three children, etc., his descendants would exceed 60 billion alive today; clearly that's impossible.  If the average surviving-to-breed number was higher, the number becomes hard to comprehend.  The math suggests that if you are white theres a pretty good chance hes your super-duper great grandpa too, and, we are all the products of continuous interbreeding!


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Blog #182




World Marriage Day


  Bill and Harriette and Joan and I celebrated World Marriage Day today by renewing our vows; pictures by Svea.



First Cousins (Once Removed)


  Joan's sister's son and daughters and two of their children are in town for their father (Richard Mathers) funeral.  Here is little Elaina (daughter of Joan's Niece, Holly) and Annika.




Great Grandpa Bill


  Bill had the opportunity to visit with two of his great grandchildren today.  Here is Ryan (son of John Mathers) and Elaina.




More Genealogy

Look for new information on the family trees pages.


10,000 Hits

The main hallbuzz page hit the 10,000 hits mark recently.


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Blog #181






(Or: You just might be a Swiss redneck if you family tree doesn't always fork)


  Moutier Berne is a beautiful, small romantic town in Switzerland; in 1846 I'm sure it must have been even more beautiful, quaint and isolated.  I'm sure that Susanne Marguerite must have been stunning in her trachten and she probably made the best cup of cocoa in the valley.  Saloman certainly must have been a strapping young man who looked great in lederhosen and probably had the biggest Alphorn in all of Berne.  People were born, raised, married, raised their own families and died in the same place.  Families went back hundreds of years.  One way or another, everyone was everyone else's first, second or third cousin.  So both of their last names were Schauffter.  So their fathers were brothers.  After all, it was an awfully long mountainous walk to the next town.  Who could blame them?  Yes, Joan's great great grandparents were cousins.


  Joan, Harriette and I have been studying or Ancestry to great lengths over the past week and we have learned much.  So far we have Joan's Swiss Schauffter line going back to before 1547.  Last night I got pretty excited when I thought I found a line for my family that went back to 1474.  I made a mistake, however, and was tracing the line of my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Eliphalet Fox's first wife.  His son and my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather, Nathaniel (Deacon) Fox was the product of his second marriage to Mary Stone, who also was on her second marriage.  The furthest back I've been able to trace back is eleven generations; four of my Great X9 Grandparents were born in England in the early 1600's and died in Massachusetts.


  One interesting thing that Joan and Harriette found online today was Harriette's father's WWII draft card; he filled it out when he was 54:



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