Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Deja Vu

The call came Sunday afternoon.

"Are you related to Isabella P.?" the voice on the other end queried.

"Yes," my hesitant reply.

"If you are, then we are cousins, and I have a photograph you might want a copy of..."

Brother C. was recently called to the High Council and had been given the Temple & Family History assignment. I figured he'd been looking into his roots, but never expected this phone call.

I asked, "You're descended from Isabella P.?" A little stunned, I thought I had a relatively complete listing of her descendents, all 1885 of them. She's my great great grandmother.

As we talked I accessed my database.

"Which of her children are you descended from?" I asked.

In a minute or two I had his record in front of me: only a placeholder including his last name and gender; a download from the Ancestral File.

Eventually he told me more about the photo. His mother got a great copy of it recently. It includes Isabella, her three oldest children and her mother. Her oldest child is my great grandpa.

I quickly offered to bring my laptop and scanner to his house and he began giving me directions, but soon changed his mind. It was Sunday afternoon, he has six kids and his wife probably felt the house wasn't "presentable".

He's going to get me a list of names and birthdates for his family and his brothers' families. His younger brother hasn't spoken to the family for the last 10 years.

It was an excited conversation, each of us talking over the other at times. I'm sure that he doesn't have any idea about my history or the work I do.

He called back a few minutes later to ask which of Isabella's kids I descended from. "Frank," I repeated. He seemed satisfied with my answer.

"Can you believe that?" I asked after I hung up.

"We're all related," her standard reply.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Saturday morning I turned on the computer and got into some serious data entry. Going through data files I'd copied from Fillmore and weaving the records I found into my database. It was a fun run. It continued past lunch time on Saturday and I was able to get back to it Sunday evening after I set up appointments for the Brethren.

As the evening wound down and my thinking got slower in anticipation of an overnight trip to the bedroom, I was startled by the realization: I'd made all the updates over the weekend using the wrong database.

That's right.

I'd neglected to copy my current database to my hard drive on my home computer. Oh my. Goodness.

The German pronunciation is ee-dee-oat. Idiot. That's me.

A quick check found that I had added at least 250 new records to the database since Saturday morning. The "official" database had 132 records added since the last time I'd copied it to my home computer.

It was late. My head couldn't deal with the idea of correcting my sophomoric mistake. I turned the machine off and went to bed where I dreamed of someone walking through the tops of densely interconnected trees.

Monday morning I began the repair work. I copied the last 132 records from the "official database" and pasted them into the "home" copy. Then I linked each of the 132 records into the families they needed to be, comparing official to home, and making other modifications as I saw them. The process only took about an hour and a half, over all.

An odd way of re-tracing your steps. Not recommended.

Always, always, always keep your backup copies current.

It's a relief to have one complete database again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Again, Vibrations

This morning it happened again.

When I awoke from a night of troubled sleep, my body was vibrating with fatigue. It's the same type of vibration you feel after a 12-hour drive. Bone-deep weariness.

The Bubs and his parents picked me up after work yesterday and took me home. Turns out they are staying the night at our house.

Her sister's family stopped in town yesterday on their family vacation. We went over to another sister's house for a visit after dinner and kidnapped said visiting sister and her youngest twin son. We all played Apples to Apples and laughed and laughed the evening away.

All the sisters then gathered for a late night together. I fed the cat and went to bed. Tossing and turning most of the warm night. I had the fan on in our room. I'm sure that this morning's vibration was nothing more than a physical manifestation of the poor rest I received.

Today I told Michael more about what we've been learning. He's concerned for me. I'm sure my explanation was inadequate to properly express my beliefs. It was a haphazard, rushed, confusing recital in a public area. He'll pray for me. I gratefully accepted his offer. He wants to know more of what I have to say. We'll be in closer touch, this next while.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Over a week ago I began to create a version of the post before last. I had it 3/4 complete when the auto-shutdown procedure in the library kicked in. I didn't have the foresight to hit the "publish post" button before the computer shut down. I guess I didn't want to post an incomplete thought.

As a result, my post was over week late, and stale to boot.

The past two weeks have signaled a percieved increase in the speed by which time is flying. It seems, to me anyway, that I am no longer able to complete even those few items I consider as normal activities in a given day any more. In fact, I didn't write in my regular journal for a week! And I'm several days behind schedule today, as well.

I do remember the conference talks where Elder Maxwell talked of a "hastening" of time before the Second Coming. I'll have to look up that reference. I thoroughly believe that hastening has happened and is increasing. Things will be in commotion real soon.

I've never been very successful at patiently waiting for the arrival of Christmas morning.


D&C 88:73 Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.


Time, Time, Why rushest thou by?
Thou speedest on and on;
And as I stand here,
My outstretched arms would grasp and hold thee close.

Each moment Thou stealest from me
Is more precious that the last.
Each one is touched with sorrow, pain, joy, or gladness--
Tinted by my own actions, my life.
Therefore, these moments are mine!
How canst Thou steal them from me? Thief!

And as I ponder o'er my grief,
The thought of a moment creeps along my brow.
Are these fleeting particles of eternity mine to hold?
Oh, where is the sign of warranty that
they may be held by man?

Is there a chance that these seconds are loaned--
not sold?
Loaned to the worker, the soldier, the drone--
Each to fulfill, to dream or postpone.
Oh, bold was I to claim heirship to such as these!

Ah yes! What riches are lent me.
Time--what a treasure!
Time to work, to chat, to sing;
Time to think, to love, to dream.

Time is mine to make tomorrow more precious still.
I thank Thee, my Father, for Thy kindness,
For these minutes which I share.
Grant me strength, courage, originality to touch each one;
That it may return to Thee more precious yet
For having been loaned to me.

[penned by my father decades ago]


A while ago I had opportunity to have some good one-on-one time with the bub. His mom went in to early labor again after one visit to the hospital. My wife and daughter had to attend a wedding reception and my son had to take his wife to the hospital for attention.

That left me.

I haven't soloed with an infant for quite a while.

Bad diaper rash complicated the issue, too.

The student ward held a cook-out/pot-luck in the complex courtyard as I changed the first diaper. Bub's wailed his torment and displeasure. Unfortunately, I forgot to apply the white zinc oxide ointment between diapers, so I had to take the diaper off again and renew his cries.

Eventually the Relief Society President knocked on the door to "inquire about my daughter-in-law". I gave her the no-news update and volunteered that Bubs was suffering from a bad case of diaper rash, before I shut the door and settled down on the couch with him sprawled across my chest.

Having him fall asleep in my arms brought back peaceful memories of competent parenting. Those memories went a long way to dispel the insecure anxiety I'd felt at the beginning of the evening.

Thankfully, memories of pain and discomfort fade rapidly.

The next day we visited again for some reason. The Bubs came right to me, all smiles. He even crawled, crying, towards the door when we had to leave.

He won't remember the details of the ties that have begun to bind our lives, but I certainly will.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Sleep Patterns

It started Tuesday night.

She is more of a night person than I am. Normally, I have to be on the bus by 6:30 am, so I am in bed before 11:00 pm. When I go to bed, she continues her internet discussions and joins me later.

Tuesday night I rolled toward her and she pushed me away with a verbal "Don't Touch!" message. Hmmm. She had a bad night. Nothing could touch her feet. Not me, not the blankets, not her other foot. Odd.

Wednesday morning I felt drugged. I could not get up. I called in sick to work. I slept past 9 am. Rarely do I ever sleep past 7 am, even on Saturdays. My body is used to the early wake-up call. Wednesday was different. I was vibrating, I was so tired.

By the afternoon things were OK, so we drove to Payson to visit Bonny. Our daughter met us on the way and we all drove together to Bonny's. After a wonderful visit and dinner, we proceeded back to Orem, where she and our daughter attended a soggy outdoor performance of "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I waited at the in-laws. The performance finished sometime during the 10 o'clock news and daughter dropped her off at her parents.

After a quick recap of the evening, she decided to tell her parents about the day's activities. That included a background description of events from 2 weeks ago. Leno had already finished his monologue! Amazingly she wrapped-up her narative in record time and we got on our way home. The morning's fatigue had returned. Got to bed by midnight or so.

There was no option to forego work again yesterday, so I got up only a few minutes late, catching the regular 6:20 am bus.

After work she came downtown after work to visit the Joseph Smith Display at the Church History Museum. The bubs and his parents accompanied us. We all had chinese afterwards at the ZCMI food court, then we took them home. I had a hard time keeping my eyes focused as I drove home, but we arrived safely. Though it was only 8:45 pm, I went right to bed. I felt that I could catch-up and prayed for restful sleep.

By 2 am we were up and studying the meaning of Zarahemla. Why did it take a book by a convicted murderer to help us understand that Zarah means "son of Judah"? We looked and read and talked for about an hour and fifteen minutes. The symbol of Zarah is a red hand and circle. It all fits and that twenty year old farm boy couldn't have had a clue that it would fit so tightly.

Thank heavens I'd gone to bed a bit early. I am more rested today, than I've been for the past several, though I did have to catch the later, 6:40 am bus.

Hopefully this pattern is only temporary. I'm not at my best when I'm tired.

The Odyssey

Last week we decided that we needed a dehumidifier in order to help get the moisture out of the air and our books that we'd stored in the basement.

She checked on the machines available at the local Wal-Mart. She felt they were over-priced and non-name brand and the boxes appeared to have been opened previously. She looked on the net and found that Home Depot carried dehumidifiers. So we planned that she would pick me up after work and we'd visit Home Depot on the way home.

Since Sutherland's was on our direct route home, we stopped there first. I asked the clerk if they had dehumidifiers and he asked me, "You want to do what to your air?" as we walked to the appropriate area of the store. We saw the air conditioners, heaters, fans, and swamp coolers, but no dehumidifiers.

On to Home Depot, take a left, proceed about 10 miles south, further away from home. When I asked the clerk at the information desk where his air conditioners are he sent us into the nether realms of his store. We searched for about 10 minutes, asking other clerks for help. They didn't quite understand by what we meant by "dehumidifier". I questioned that she'd really seen something that suggested Home Depot had dehumidifiers. We finally wandered back to the front of the store. The air conditioners were placed in the area directly next to the information desk, we'd approached the clerk from the wrong side, so hadn't noticed the seasonal display. Again we found the air conditioners, heaters, fans, and evaporative coolers, but no dehumidifiers.

We figured to check the Wal-Mart in this area, but since it wasn't our town, didn't quite know where it was. As we walked out of the Home Depot, we noticed a Wal-Mart just across the street. We drove over, but found that it was some sort of Wal-Mart grocery store, not a full-service edition. Odd. We called the daughter, wondering where the closest Wal-Mart might be. As we called, I remembered that there is a Wal-Mart at Jordan Landing, another few miles south, further away from home.

On we drove. When we arrived I put the checkbook in the child seat of the shopping cart. The spirit whispered that I needed to remember where the checkbook was. So I did. It took a few minutes to figure out the set-up in this superstore. It was laid-out backwards from the one we normally frequent. We found the fans in the hardware section and they even had a dehumidifier. Pay dirt! It was a pretty little machine. One problem: it was $40 more than the one at the Wal-Mart back home.

By this time it was past dinner time, so we decided to return, pick up a machine at the local Wal-Mart and go home to the pot roast, potatoes and carrots simmering in the crock pot there. As we drove away from Jordan Landing I noticed the Sears Home Center and thought it might be a place to check for dehumidifiers, but dinner beckoned, so we drove on without stopping.

45 minutes later we pulled in to the parking lot at our local Wal-Mart. As I got out of the car, I realized that I didn't have the checkbook. Doh. Immediately I remembered leaving the cart in the aisle near the dehumidifier at the Wal-Mart in Jordan Landing. I'd even felt a little guilty leaving the cart behind: somebody would have to return it to the front of the store. I hadn't remembered to take the checkbook out of the cart.

In I went to the Service Counter, where Angela helped me. She called the Jordan Landing Wal-Mart to make sure they'd located the checkbook. She helped three other patrons while she was on hold, waiting to talk with the hardware clerk in Jordan Landing. She was a true example of helpful service with a smile. Eventually, they found the cart and our checkbook. Angela told me the checkbook would be stored in the "Cash Room" for us. I gratefully thanked her, letting her know that she was an angel in deed.

We went home. I changed clothes and we enjoyed a pot roast dinner before we had to drive 45 minutes back to Jordan Landing.

Back to the other Wal-Mart, I went to Service Counter and asked for our checkbook. The clerk called in to the folks in the Cash Room. Apparently, the Cash Room is the inner-sanctum of each Wal-Mart. The Cash Room attendent asked for a description of the checkbook. I replied, brown leather about this size, last name on the checks... My description qualified me as a possible owner, so the attendant eventually passed the checkbook through a sliding security drawer to the clerk at the Service Counter. Without being asked, I showed the clerk my ID, matching that on the checks, then I went on to identify the baby pictures of my son and his son. At that point she waved me away. I thanked her for her efforts in our behalf.

The checkbook was undisturbed. No one had seen it in the cart. All my wife's cards were inside. There was no money in the pocket, but that is the normal state of things, so not a cause for concern.

Since we were back at Jordan Landing, we decided to stop in at Sears to see if they had dehumidifiers. We found a helpful clerk in the appliance area and asked him about dehumidifiers. He had no idea what we were talking about, but was looking for a sale anyway, so he looked up "air dryer" on the Sears website. That brought back entries for hair dryers and washers and dryers but no dehumidifiers. He searched for "de humdifier" but that brought back no hits. I suggested that he take the space out after "de". He did, and we got three hits to the query. He was surprised. I noticed that each of the dehumidifiers was more expensive than the one at the Wal-Mart next door. The salesman then went to the store's inventory computer to check if there might be any in stock. I didn't really want him to bother, but check he did. Nope. Nope. Nope. No items with that stock number were available locally. I thanked him and we drove home.

At 9:45 pm I walked in to our local Wal-Mart, bought the $118 unit, loaded it in the Jimmy and drove home. By 9:55 pm it was unpacked, plugged-in and sucking moisture from the atmosphere in our damp basement.

Moral: When the spirit whispers, LISTEN!


How my beliefs stack up to other religions:

1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
2. Jehovah's Witness (100%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (84%)
4. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (83%)
5. Bahá'í Faith (81%)
6. Eastern Orthodox (71%)
7. Roman Catholic (71%)
8. Orthodox Judaism (66%)
9. Orthodox Quaker (64%)
10.Liberal Quakers (57%)
11. Seventh Day Adventist (56%)
12. Sikhism (56%)
13. Islam (52%)
14. Hinduism (51%)
15. Unitarian Universalism (48%)
16. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (47%)
17. Reform Judaism (43%)
18. Jainism (40%)
19. Neo-Pagan (36%)
20. Mahayana Buddhism (36%)
21. Theravada Buddhism (30%)
22. New Thought (28%)
23. Secular Humanism (26%)
24. New Age (25%)
25. Taoism (21%)
26. Nontheist (20%)
27. Scientology (17%)

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