Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh Baby! Smile for the Camera

The topic for the 7th edition of the Smile for the Camera! Carnival on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog is "Oh, Baby! Show us those wonderful family photographs of babies, or those you've collected."

This father and grandfather has collected a lot of pictures, but finding pictures of each child and grandchild by him or herself was a challenge. I wanted to pick photos from when they were about one year old, so that they were still babies, but their facial and body features could be shown. I almost succeeded. Here is my proud father and grandpa's gallery of little darlings.

Leading off is my two daughters - Tami (born October 1976) and Lori (born May 1974), taken in May 1978:

Lori has two little boys. Lucas was born in September 2003, this picture was in October 2004:

Logan was born in February 2006, this picture is from December 2006:

Tami has two little girls. Lauren was born in February 2005, this picture is from May 2006:

Audrey was born in February 2008, this picture is from August 2008:

We managed to get all four of them together in August 2008, but getting them to smile nicely was a challenge. From the left: Lauren (age 3.5), Logan (age 2.5), Audrey (age 0.5) and Lucas (age 4.9):

Those are my progeny to date. I am so blessed! They are so much fun to love, play with, read to, and snuggle with. They owe their good looks and good hair to their mothers, I think.

SDGS Meeting Report - 8 November 2008

The San Diego Genealogical Society meeting today featured election of officers, a talk on the SDGS Library Catalog by Pam Journey, some good snacks, and a talk by myself, Randy Seaver, on Genealogy Web Sites You Can Use. There were over 100 attendees at this meeting - presumably drawn by the program content.

Pam's talk discussed the SDGS Library Dewey decimal catalog system, and the logic behind it, how to access the online library catalog from home to plan a library visit, and examples of the library catalog entries.

My talk was similar to the CGSSD class given in September, but jazzed up a bit with some cartoon slides. The presentation was a summary of genealogy information currently available on the Internet. The slides discussed large database sites, family tree sites, data portal sites, some specific web sites and some libraries and societies, often with a screen shot of the web site's home page and some comments about the site. I finished up with a list of commercial databases available for free access at local libraries.

Both Pam and I sat down next to our laptop computer on the table with the LCD projector. This was necessary because the video cord between the laptop and projector was pretty short. This facilitated viewing of the screen by the audience - we weren't in the viewer's way, but it limited eye contact between speaker and audience to the front rows. The stage is only about one foot high, so a speaker who has to be near his laptop is limited (I don't have a clicker to advance the slides, and couldn't turn easily to use a pointer). I really prefer standing at a podium and roaming a bit, but this worked OK.

Due to the overflow crowd, some attendees didn't receive the four-page handout of the web sites I discussed. If any SDGS meeting attendee wants a PDF copy of the handout, please email me at

"Genealogy is Like Sex" T-shirt

I posted this picture the other day - taken on the Wholly Genes Conference and Cruise. Several readers commented that they couldn't read the writing...

It says:
Genealogy is like sex...

You think it about it most of the time...
You’re always anticipating the next time you can do it...
Your partner hangs around looking bored until you're finished...
You become irritable if you go too long without doing it...
Isn't it true? Needless to say, I get a lot of glances when I wear it! Should I wear it today to the SDGS meeting where I'm presenting Genealogy Web Sites You Can Use? Maybe it's a bit too non-professional, eh? I could wear a coat, I guess...that's what Megan Smolenyak does for her presentations over her T-shirts (see the picture above).
This T-shirt, and many more, are available from JMK Genealogy Gifts - see

Friday, November 7, 2008

Learning from the Masters

It is so easy to be seduced by genealogy records on the Internet. Trust me, I know. I love surfing through Ancestry, WVR, Footnote, Rootsweb, FamilySearch, USGenWeb, CyndisList, and all the rest... gathering nuggets of information that I might add to my database.

However, the lesson that "It's not all on the Internet" was really driven home at the Wholly Genes Conference by the professional speakers - in their presentations, the David Lambert round-tables, and in the three one-on-ones that I had scheduled. It seemed like each event just drove home the points that:

* Solving brick wall research problems can only be done in original documents

* These original documents are often in paper form at repositories - courthouses, county records, state archives, church offices, town halls, etc.

* There is no substitute for experts who know what records are in a local repository or a state archive.

Sure, the Internet provides easy access to many original and more derivative documents, but they are, in general, the "low hanging fruit" records - family trees, census, military, passenger lists, newspapers, etc. They help us find families or persons at points in time, but rarely solve our "brick wall" research problems.

The promise of FamilySearch Indexing to convert millions of FHL microfilm and microfiche images to indexed online digital images will add more records to the available online records. Some of those records will be the county deeds, probate, tax, town, etc. records that hold some brick wall solutions for all of us.

The message I received from the conference was that I need to:

* Travel to (or write to) more repositories to view and use their holdings in localities where my ancestors resided.

* Go to the LDS Family History Center more often, and order more microfilm from the LDS Family History Library.

* Become more expert on the localities of my ancestors - town, county, state, country - and the records available in those localities.

* Pass these thoughts on to my readers, colleagues, and clients. Use these thoughts, and good research examples, in my presentations, too.

I really appreciate the efforts made by the professional genealogists to educate researchers like me - I feel that I'm still transitioning from a "name gatherer" to a "genealogy researcher." It was humbling... and I'm really glad I had the opportunity to talk to these professionals who really know how to do genealogy research.

A genealogist's education never ends -- maybe that's why I love doing this!

Great advice - read a blog!

The January 2009 issue of Family Tree Magazine came today in the mail, and I read it while waiting for my wife to finish doing her email work before dinner.

David A. Fryxell in his article "Power Hour" - 14 genealogy jobs you can do on your lunch break - recommended that readers Read a blog. Great advice! He listed four -

* Ancestry Insider ( delivers techno-gossip and tips not only on, but also that other genealogy giant, FamilySearch.

* Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter ( offers "straight talk" from knowledgeable online genealogy veteran Dick Eastman.

* Genea-Musings ( gives you news and how-tos on Web sites, software and more.

* The Genealogue ( introduces you to the lighter side of genealogy, featuring Letterman-style top 10 lists such as "Least Useful Ancestry Databases."

There are, of course, many more genealogy blogs worthy of being mentioned. Genea-Musings is honored to be included in that short list.

He is right, of course. Blogs are a great way to spend a lunch hour at work, or a spare hour at home, for researchers to learn something new or just take a break from the stresses of the day.

American Migration Trails

I really enjoyed Cyndi Howells' presentation about "Plotting, Scheming and Mapping Online" at the Wholly Genes Conference. She had several links to web sites that I had not seen previously, so I'm investigating them one at a time.

One of the most intriguing sites is Beverly Whitaker's "Early American Roads and Trails" web page at .

Beverly has a brief summary of each trail on this page, but there is a link to a two-page summary of each trail in PDF format by following her links. The roads and trails covered include:

* Boston Post Road
* Braddock's Road
* California Trail
* Fall Line Road
* Federal Road
* Great Wagon Road
* King's Highway
* Mohawk Trail
* Mormon Trail
* National Road
* Natchez Trace
* Oregon Trail
* Pennsylvania Road
* Santa Fe Trail
* Trail of Tears
* Upper Road
* Wilderness Road
* Zane's Trace
* Chicago and State Roads

Each road and trail discussed has a map and the two-page fact sheet describes the route in more detail and the history of the route.

What a wonderful informative web site!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Book: Census Atlas of the USA

The United States government Census Bureau has released a book called Census Atlas of the United States. It can be downloaded in PDF format at The web site says:

"We are pleased to present the complete content, in PDF format, of the recently published Census Atlas of the United States, the first comprehensive atlas of population and housing produced by the Census Bureau since the 1920s. The Census Atlas is a large-format publication about 300 pages long and containing almost 800 maps. Data from decennial censuses prior to 2000 support nearly 150 maps and figures, providing context and an historical perspective for many of the topics presented.

"A variety of topics are covered in the Census Atlas, ranging from language and ancestry characteristics to housing patterns and the geographic distribution of the population. A majority of the maps in the Census Atlas present data at the county level, but data also are sometimes mapped by state, census tract (for largest cities and metropolitan areas), and for selected American Indian reservations. The book is modern, colorful, and includes a variety of map styles and data symbolization techniques."

For a history, geography or sociology wizard, this book is a gold mine of information. Genealogists will probably appreciate the chapters on Population Distribution, Place of Birth and US Citizenship, Migration and Ancestry.

The entire work is over 262 mb for about 300 pages. The book is chock full of maps. Most of the information was derived from census records.

Random Thoughts from our Vacation

Here are some of my observations and thoughts from the past two weeks on vacation - four nights in New York City, 7 nights on the Caribbean Princess, and three nights in San Juan:

* New York City subways are not disabled friendly. New York City tourist sites are very disabled friendly.
* I could spend a lot of time at Ellis Island reading the displays. Impressive place. Unfortunately, I had only 90 minutes onshore.
* The New York Public Library genealogy room works really well - I wish I had had more time.
* Taxicab fares are pretty high everywhere.
* The Brooklyn cruise ship terminal is hard to find - our taxi driver got lost.

* The food on the Caribbean Princess was pretty good - variety, quality, quantity. We ate at the Horizon Court food court every breakfast and lunch, and in the Palm Dining Room for every dinner. The maitre-d' in the Palm Dining Room helped Linda plan her meals for the next day to avoid her allergies.
* We loved the Anytime Dinner option - perfect for genea-cruisers with scheduled events in the evening.
* The Caribbean Princess had a norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise. By law, they had to serve everyone everything for three days - we couldn't touch anything but our plate. We didn't know until later that some of the crew had the virus early in the week.
* Our cabin was "rocky" - we were on Gala deck (14th level) in the back. The seas were rough during the "at sea" portion of the trip. The room itself was fine - we had twin beds pushed together, a balcony, and a door just wide enough for the walker.
* TV channels on the cruise ship were sparse - no US networks or cable channels (except for ESPN, some entertainment channels, CNN International and BBC World Service). We did get to see the World Series games on ESPN somehow. There was little American news on CNN International, except for Obama worship.
* Getting 3,000 people off a cruise ship is a big logistical challenge. We all had a gathering time, and then a wait to disbark, then a wait for customs, and a wait for immigration. After we got out, the taxicab service was great.

* The WG/TMG genealogy conference had excellent organization and speakers. Bob Velke and his folks worked really hard to make this succeed, and they were successful!
* The venues used for the conference were poor from a seating standpoint - but if you want a cruise conference, that's what you get.
* The WG/TMG conference speakers were top-notch - I was impressed by their friendliness, knowledge levels and presentation skills. I learned a lot.
* Too many Americans are overweight, and have no qualms showing it off at the pools and the restaurants. Myself included.
* The Master Genealogist software is really complicated and seems to have a long learning curve.
* Genea-cruisers are really friendly and love to share - I appreciate the many conversations I had with many of my fellow cruisers. Name-tags are really helpful.
* I was surprised by the number of genea-cruisers I didn't meet - I saw many faces at the cocktail party that I didn't meet in person during the conference.

* St. Kitts is a really poor island with very friendly people. The roads are narrow and they drive on the left.
* Antigua is bigger, fairly poor, and very friendly people; they also have narrow roads and drive on the left.
* St. Thomas has more residential areas, better roads (drive on the right) and more day trip opportunities. There were "slackers" around the tourist shopping area.
* San Juan, Puerto Rico is cosmopolitan, most people are bilingual, the roads range from poor to good, and the hotel rooms are expensive. The bus system is free, and taxicabs are fairly expensive (e.g., $15 for a three-mile trip).

* It was really good to get home again and sleep in our own bed, even though we woke up at 3 a.m.

Have you had enough of my cruise comments? Back to genealogy research ... soon!

Home again in Chula Vista

We made it home to Chula Vista on Wednesday - our travel day looked like this:

* We were up at 5 a.m. in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Packed, watched TV election returns, mourned McCain's loss (nor unexpected, of course), went to breakfast, checked out.
* We left the hotel at 7:15 a.m. for the airport by taxicab.
* Our American Airlines flight to Dallas left San Juan at 10 a.m. We had early boarding (Linda's walker works wonders!) and cross-aisle seats. They had only snacks to eat.
* We arrived at Dallas at 1 p.m. (CST) after a five hour flight. Grabbed a salad and ice cream for lunch. No free Internet access at the airport.
* We left Dallas at 3:40 p.m. (CST) on American Airlines for San Diego. We got early boarding and bulkhead seats - more legroom! No snacks whatsoever.
* We arrived in San Diego at 5 p.m. (PST). Easy baggage pickup.
* Barbara picked us up and we went to Hob Nob Restaurant for dinner. This got us on a PST eating schedule and we missed peak traffic.
* We were home by 6:30 p.m. (PST). That's over 15 hours of travel time.

The neighbor brought the mail and newspapers over, and I put them on the couch. I unpacked my suitcase, but Linda climbed into bed. I turned the desktop computer on and read my email, and Bloglines, and some news, but turned it off at 8:30. I was exhausted. Off to bed. It was a 20 hour day. I had a headache nearly all day from reading my book and the discomfort and noise on the plane.

Of course, our bodies still think we are on Puerto Rico time, so we woke up bright-eyed at 3 a.m. (our clocks said 4 a.m. since daylight time ended while we were gone and I wasn't aware enough last night to notice it!). We got the wash started, got all of the clocks reset, I sorted the mail out, and separated the sports section from the newspapers. I read yesterday's paper (since today's didn't come until 5 a.m.), and took the trash out for collection today. Linda read her email while I was doing my thing watching FNC.

The plan for today is pretty simple:

2. Go for a walk on the bayfront with George.
3. Study my ProGen chapter and complete the "research plan" homework.
4. Make final revisions to the "Genealogy Web Sites You Can Use" presentation for Saturday at SDGS.
5. Blog a bit on Genea-Musings, Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe and Randy's Busy Life.
6. Create a CVGS board meeting agenda for Friday.
7. Participate in the ProGen chat tonight at 8 p.m.
8. Contact Ed and his siblings for this weekend's phone call.
9. Go to bed relatively early (but ER is on, hmm).
10. Eat healthy food for lunch and dinner.

I did no real genealogy on Wednesday, other than thinking about the rest of this busy week. I did share with several passengers that I was Barack Obama's cousin. They were surprised, of course, and impressed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pam Journey and Randy Seaver are Presenting at SDGS Meeting on Saturday, 8 November

The San Diego Genealogical Society November meeting is this Saturday, 8 November, starting at 12 noon. The meeting is at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in San Diego (8350 Lake Murray Blvd., just south of Jackson Drive).

There are two speakers and topics for this program. In the first hour, Pam Journey will be presenting "Using the SDGS Library Online Catalog." The SDGS newsletter says of this program:

In our first presentation, our Library Director, Pam Journey, will show you how to use and get the most out of our online library card catalog from home. If you are not using it regularly in your research, you are missing out on a huge esearch advantage. Come and learn how to maximize its capabilities.

A long time family history researcher, Pam also teaches genealogy classes for the Society and for the San Diego community. She traces her heritage back to early New England.

In the second hour, Randy Seaver will present "Genealogy Web Sites You Can Use." The newsletter summary of the talk and speaker is:

Randy Seaver, President of Chula Vista Genealogical Society (& SDGS, CGSSD, NGS member), will help you wade through the thousands of web sites and find which ones are “best” for you. He’ll cover hundreds of sites that have really useful records with links by genealogy record type. Come and learn how to take your research to the next level.

A researcher with over 20 years experience dealing with American, English, German and Dutch ancestry, Randy has been using the Internet since 1993. He publishes the well known blog, and is a proud 5th generation San Diegan.

I look forward to seeing many SDGS members at this meeting. As always, SDGS meetings are FREE to attend, and guests and visitors are always welcome.

Wholly Genes/The Master Genealogist Conference and Cruise posts

Here is a list of the posts on Genea-Musings concerning the Wholly Genes/The Master Genealogist Conference and Cruise that occurred from 26 October to 2 November.

* Sunday on the TMG Cruise

* Monday on the TMG Cruise - Part 1 and Part 2

* Tuesday on the TMG Cruise

* Wednesday on the TMG Cruise

* Thursday on the TMG Cruise

* Friday on the TMG Cruise

* Saturday on the TMG Cruise

* Genea-Cruiser Randy is on Dry Land Again

* The Wholly Genes Conference and Cruise Summary

* More WG/TMG Conference Pictures

* More Pictures from the WG/TMG Conference

I found excellent descriptions of the 2006 and 2007 Wholly Genes Conferences on Happy Dae's site, I expect Happy Dae and Jayne to summarize this 2008 Conference also, and look forward to their perspective.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More pictures from the WG/TMG Conference

I had a great time talking to Happy Dae at this conference - he has been reading Genea-Musings for a long time, which I really appreciate!

Hmm, it couldn't have been this boring, could it? I was taking a short catnap before a lecture in the Princess Theater:

At the cocktail party, I caught Joanne S, Ann M and Bob M smiling for the camera (with several others in the background):

Alice B and Linda Seaver enjoyed discussing the finer points of PhD programs - seriously!

Vicky S was beaming in Club Fusion - she has been a Genea-Musings reader for awhile.

Unfortunately, some of my photos are not real sharp...I need to learn to take two of each in hopes that one will turn out well.

More WG/TMG Conference Pictures

Linda and I had a lot of fun at the Wholly Genes/TMG Conference Cocktail Party on Saturday. Here are some pictures of "notable" people at the conference.

David Allen Lambert always seems to wear Hawaiian shirts and shorts, has a smile on his sunburned face, and provides a prodigious amount of information:

I really enjoyed Tony Burroughs' infectious laugh and enthusiasm for his subjects. I talked to him a bit about Chicago area records:

Cyndi Howells is such a neat person to talk to - she is so fun and friendly. I had never met her before, but it seemed like we were instant friends:

Here is the group shot of all of the speakers in attendance at the party. From the left: Cyndi Howells, Barbara Vines Little, John Cardinal, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Craig R. Scott, John Grenham, Bob Velke (behind Grenham), David Allen Lambert, Robert Charles Anderson (hiding behind David), Tony Burroughs, Dick Eastman (behind Tony) and John Titford.

I have some decent shots of some attendees also - next post!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Wholly Genes Conference Cruise summary

Dick Eastman has posted "Wholly Genes Software Conference a Success" on his Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog. It provides an excellent overview of the conference and cruise. I counted heads several times, and saw no more than 100 people in the audience for the lectures.

I second his thoughts about the organization and execution by Bob Velke and the Wholly Genes crew - excellent work.

However, it was much more than a software conference. For me, the software part of it was secondary - nice to have and interesting since I'm not a TMG user (yet), but the real take-away gems for me were the genealogy presentations and the round tables and the one-on-ones.

The venues for the speaker presentations were a major problem, IMHO. It is obvious that Dick didn't witness the projection problems on Friday in the Princess Theater during Cyndi Howells' talk. The problems disrupted Cyndi's presentation and the viewers concentration - but Cyndi was a trooper. They had to cobble together a viewing area for several talks in the Palm Dining Room - set up a small screen, put 40-60 chairs in a small area, and there was no separation between speaker and audience. The Club Fusion venue left a lot to be desired as far as seating and seeing the speaker - it's essentially a disco and karaoke bar with lots of TV screens. Several talks had to be moved from the originally scheduled venue, but everyone adapted well. Even with the venue problems, the speakers and program content were excellent.

This Wholly Genes genea-cruiser wants to know:

* Where did all of the speakers hang out when they didn't have talks to give? Did anyone see any of them at the pool or in the casino, or in the lounges? Or even at dinner? I saw Dick Eastman at the ice cream stand - gotcha, Dick!

* How many Roots Television interviews from this cruise will be seen soon? Is that where Megan and Dick were?

* Does David Lambert ever breathe when he talks? How can his brain work faster than his mouth? But it does, obviously!

* Is there anything that Craig Scott doesn't know about military records?

* What did Robert Charles Anderson do on this cruise besides one-on-ones?

* Why weren't the hosted breakfasts and one-on-ones fully subscribed by the attendees? People really missed out if they didn't participate in these.

* Do any of these speakers ever stammer, forget what they are about to say, or speak in less than complete sentences? I didn't notice any glitches like this at all over 20 presentations and 4 round tables. Impressive.

I'm sure I can think of more questions...

I'm still on vacation - in Puerto Rico

Linda and I are still on vacation in Puerto Rico - we go home to San Diego on Wednesday.

We got off the Caribbean Princess on Sunday at about 10:45 a.m. and arrived at the Holiday Inn Express by taxicab at about 11:30. They even let us check into our room early. The small hotel lobby was packed with folks waiting for transportation to the cruise ship to start their Eastern Caribbean cruise. We unpacked, checked out the pool and Business Center, and were hungry (didn't get enough breakfast again on the ship? right...) so we wandered off onto Ashford Street and found Colombo's Restaurant - a small place with free wi-fi and decent food. I had a chicken quesadilla. We got back to the room and while Linda went swimming, I tried to connect my laptop to the hotel wi-fi with no success. So I went down to the Business Center and used their computer (15 minutes if someone is waiting). I managed to read my main email set, some of my blogs on Bloglines, and posted a blog on Genea-Musings. When I came back to the room, Linda was napping. We didn't go off to dinner until 6:30 p.m. and finally found Cafe de Angel on Ashford Street across from La Concha Resort. The food was OK, but the service was slow. There were political demonstrations along Ashford all evening - there is a close governor's race in Puerto Rico. We didn't get back until about 9:15, and I spent another hour reading blogs on Bloglines and wrote another post before bedtime.

We were up around 7 a.m. this morning, and went down for breakfast. We decided to go into Old San Juan today as tourists, so we took a cab to the Fort San Juan del Morro (known as El Morro) and toured it using our Golden Age National Parks pass. I saw genea-cruiser Vicky S at el Morro. Then we took a free trolley to the center of Old San Juan for shopping and lunch at the Old Harbour Brewery - they have a superb half-pound bacon cheeseburger with fries. We saw genea-cruiser Happy Dae on the street as they were going off to catch a plane. We did a little more shopping, but Linda had an allergic reaction to her food, and we took a cab home.

When we got back, Linda went off to the pool and I got the laptop out and uploaded all of the most recent pictures. Surprisingly, the laptop was able to connect to the Internet from the room, so I've posted several TMG cruise daily summaries - backdated to the days of the cruise so readers can read about the daily activities in the order of the events. When the series is completed, I'll write a summary post so that folks can read all of the posts in order.

I need to go read my email and blogs some more, and check in on Facebook too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Genea-cruiser Randy is on dry land again

Hi readers...I've missed the daily interaction and busy-ness of blogging. Seven days without blogging is like, well, an eternity, it seems. But I've been busy! We've had some fun times, some informative times, some wet times, and even some boring times.

While many on board the Caribbean Princess were having the time of their lives - eating (gluttony), drinking (debauchery), and making Mary, er, merry (lust!), er, fools of themselves (knaves that they are), most of the geneaholics attending the TMG Conference were:

* sitting in Club Fusion watching Bob Velke and John Cardinal manipulate TMG and its' utility programs; Club Fusion is a night club with many TV screens around - fairly ideal for watching someone manipulate his computer - even if you're sitting at the bar with your laptop (that was me...). The morning meetings were here.
* in the Palm Dining Room hearing John Titford and Megan Smolenyak make their presentations to about 80 of us gathered around a small screen and being right up close to the speakers; two of the noon lectures were here.
* in the Princess Theater (think 500 seats in three levels, typical for evening shows) with a big screen, the speaker on stage at a podium, and about 100 genealogists scattered around the seats - only one or two within eye contact. one noon lecture and the late afternoon lectures were here.

Then there were the:

* hosted breakfasts with one of the speakers - we had about 30 minutes with Barbara Vines Little on Thursday before we went off on our tour of St. Kitts by scenic railway.
* Several evening round tables with David Allen Lambert of NEHGS on Military Records, Atlantic Canada, and DNA Research. Dave is a really knowledgeable and funny guy.
* One-on-ones on Saturday night with David Lambert, Elizabeth Shown Mills and Sandra Hewlett. I brought some of my "elusive ancestor" research problems to get their take on my work and suggestions.
* Meals and table sharing with a number of the attendees. While it often revolved around them mundane, we also did some analysis of the lectures, discussed our own research, and just talked almost every day about our days and lives.
* The Sunday cocktail party and Saturday "last night" cocktail party - great times - in fact, almost the only time I saw many of the speakers. The end of the Saturday party was the assembled geneaholics singing "I'm My Own Grandpa" led by Jhn Titford. Apparently, this is a tradition.

I have posts prepared for every day's activities but I cannot post them until I get the San Juan hotel wireless to connect to my laptop. I'm in the Business Center now with several others waiting their turn for the one working computer. I need to post this and give it up but will come back later today and start putting some real content on the blog.

We are in San Juan until Wednesday, when we fly home. If I can make the laptop connect yo the Internet, I will post some pictures from the cruise and my journal entries for each day.

I need to burn down my email stack too - I had 368 emails on my regular account and 264 emails on my mailing list eddress. I also have 764 posts to read on Bloglines, since last Sunday. Then there's Facebook to catch up on.