Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Finding roots

May 24, 2011 2 comments

Some of you may know that Sam and I are getting married this summer; in fact, it’s coming up pretty soon, at the end of July.

The whole uniting-our-families thing has been on both of our minds lately, and it’s brought up yet another subject: genealogy.

I have the good fortune of being in a family where both my dad and mom’s sides have excellent genealogist family members and a well-mapped family tree.

I remember poring through records and trees on both sides as a kid, and finding it wildly fascinating, the lives of these people, like something from a history book, except that they were related to me. How cool!

My interest in genealogy has waxed and waned over the years, as I’ve undertaken a bit of research here and there for friends, or for an article on something historical. But no-one among the Coffeys (my mom’s side) or the Hortons (my dad’s) needed me to work on the family trees, as they were pretty well taken care of.

So I think, once I officially become part of Sam’s family (the Egglestons), I am going to approach them about tracking down their family tree. It’s something both Sam and I are interested in finding out about, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about genealogy and researching it in the process.

There are several generations still alive, so that will be helpful in tracking the most recent family members. I hope to find out the rest through records and online research, and it should help that Sam’s family is in at least the fourth generation to live here in Marquette County, so the county records office will be very useful.

I’ve been excited about the possibilities for quite some time, but I wanted to wait until I was legally an Eggleston before delving into the history books, just out of respect.

I think while I’m at it, I will ask my family members for copies of my own genealogy. It’ll be nice to have all that information in one place, and who knows what connections I can find.

Do any of our readers do genealogy? I’ll be a relative newbie; beyond census and local records, I’ll be out of my depth. So if you have any great suggestions or useful tools, let me know.


A blog sibling

April 3, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been derelict over here, mostly because I was working on an idea for a new blog, which, as inaccurate as it may be, I am going to call this blog’s younger sibling. That’s because it is made up of a whole category of things that Sam and I haven’t posted on here — namely, our personal travels.

If only I had a cool suitcase like this 🙂

Traveling is such a different kind of thing to write about. You’re out of your element, on a laptop somewhere, looking at things from an outsider’s perspective. For us, living up here in the rural North, it usually means driving many hours away. It didn’t seem like something that fit on the pages of this blog.  But we’re traveling more and more, and finding really neat things wherever we go, and I’d really like to share them!

So this weekend I put up the first posts on the new travel blog, which is hopefully-not-too-cliched in its name; There and Back Again.  I won’t take up too much more room here about it, but I’d love if you come over, read, maybe subscribe (hint, hint), share your own travel ideas and comments, and hopefully have some fun.

Hallowed institutions

March 11, 2011 1 comment

Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland

When I was a kid, going to the library was an awe-inspiring event.

I grew up in a logging family, which means that we didn’t have much in the way of funds over the years, though the lack of a savings account was more than compensated for through the love of my parents and a work ethic that is just short of fanatical. So, when we were lucky enough to have time to make a swing to the library and get some books to use as entertainment, it was something to be excited about. I was always wide-eyed with wonder at the sheer number of spines and book titles that would greet me when I’d walk through the door. I’d pick out two or three and then check them out. The most amazing part was that we didn’t have to pay to use them–we just had to bring them back.

Unfortunately, in my lifetime, libraries of that sort may become a footnote in the pages of history. More and more small cities and towns are being forced to close their libraries due to funding issues. Here in the Upper Peninsula, some have already closed due to a lack of space to house them, while others have cut their hours and staffs so dramatically that you are hard pressed to be able to visit if you have an ever-changing schedule like I do. Read more…

Shoot the ball and buck

March 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m not the kind of person who peruses the Internet in hopes of coming across a website that I can hurry up and show to all of my friends before someone else does. In fact, it’s rare that I do much more than work, the occasional tweet and some Facebook while I’m online.

So, what is about to follow is rare. Maybe it will happen again, but it likely won’t.

One of my clients (the folks who have me writing about hunting, usually) asked me to write up a post for their site about a company in Boston called Buck and Ball. As always, I readily accepted the assignment, even when they told me it was an apparel store. I had figured (i.e.: assumed) that the apparel would be directly related to hunting. After all, that’s pretty much all I have ever written for this client.

I was wrong.

Now those of you who know me are well aware I am pretty darn bullheaded. Just because something wasn’t going to be as smooth as I originally thought definitely doesn’t mean I won’t still do it. This was one of those cases. Instead of just going back to the client and explain that writing about a men’s fashion storefront was well outside of my normal boundaries, I decided to make it work. And, you know what? I’m glad I did. Read more…

Long time, no blog

February 25, 2011 1 comment

The other day Kim and I were finishing up some freelance work when she turned to me and mentioned this blog. The question, it seemed, was why we weren’t writing in it anymore.

“Ummmmmm… because we already work 70 hours weeks?” I responded, though without the confidence I would have needed to shut the door on the subject completely. Instead, it turned into a discussion, and the decision that there really isn’t enough going on that we shouldn’t be able to post on here once a week or so.

So, we’re back. Well, technically speaking, I’m back. Kim is showering right now and will be headed off to a 90-minute massage soon. Me? Well, I have to work, which is why it’s nice to take a few moments and do some writing that isn’t deadline driven or forced at a maddening pace.

Since the last time we posted, a lot has happened. We’ve picked up a lot of freelance work (hence our absence) and we manage a couple of sites for Issue Media Group, namely UP Second Wave and Northwest Michigan Second Wave (we manage Mid Michigan Second Wave, too, but we’re in the process of finding a new editor to keep tabs on that one). Needless to say, that takes up a bulk of our time. In addition, Kim freelances for the Marquette Monthly and I am freelancing sports for weekly papers in Northville and Novi.

We also moved into a new house, which is pretty cool. It costs far less than our old apartment and we will outright own it in less than four years. Pretty good choice, hey?

Outside of that, for the most part, it’s been the same ol’ life here in the Upper Peninsula. Of course, we’re not complaining about that.

Let me wrap up this quick post by saying that we apologize for not being around more, but want to make a concerted effort to change our ways. Look for new posts at least once a week and let us know if you have any comments or questions.

Hard to believe…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three weeks since I last posted. That’s how crazy life has been around here lately.

Everything went well with my mom’s shoulder surgery. Thanks for all of the words of support from the readership out there. I have to say I was impressed with the number of messages I received. I didn’t know you guys cared so much.

But, I digress. Things have just been a little out of sorts when it comes to getting scheduling down pat. School is coming to an end around here, so that’s been a little crazy with the kiddo and all. I started a new managing editor job for an online e-magazine, and that’s a ton more work than I had originally pictured it to be in my head. To top it all off, we’re signing on our house tomorrow and there have been hoops after hoops for us to jump through.

We’ve jumped though and, in the end, it’s worth it.

But, honestly, I just wanted to take a moment and apologize to everyone. I promise that starting this week things will start to get back on track. I’m starting to feel like life is a little more under control and that I have a grip on all the work I have on the table right now. Once it all starts flowing smooth and I’m out of that “new” mode where I’m struggling with everything, I’m sure I’ll have just as much time as I used to have.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has been having a great spring. It’s been hot here (a little too hot at times, reaching into the 90s in the Upper Peninsula in May!), but it’ll seem like a distant memory come November when there’s a few feet of snow on the ground.

Thanks for sticking around and for checking back in. Like I said, things are getting back on track and I’ll be posting regularly again beginning this week.


May 14, 2010 2 comments

I am sitting in a waiting room in Green Bay while my mom is knocked out and having her flesh peeled back and her shoulder operated on somewhere nearby.

This is nothing new. Well, the shoulder surgery is, but not the mom having an operation. As a kid, it seemed like my mom was in the hospital as much as I was in school. She had organs removed and messed with. She had joints operated on. She always had something going on and the doctors back home could never figure out what was wrong so they would start cutting into her.

Dad would wake us up in the middle of the night to tell us that he had to take mom into the hospital once again and that I had to make sure to get my sister off to school. You kind of became numb to it.

This is the first time, however, that I have been alone in waiting for her. We are in Green Bay, and my dad’s back just can’t take this kind of drive. Mom wanted to come here because Doc Tressler was recommended by quite a few people around the Marquette area.

So I am here, pretty much without a lot to do (I need to work, but the only table is occupied by a fellow who is adamantly reading a magazine, so I will wait). I have to admit it’s a little nerve-jarring. It’s not that I am worried about mom’s operation, it’s just that I am concerned if I will be able to do all the things she will need done once she gets out of here.

I am sure I will survive, but it still has me a little on edge.

The surgery should just be about another 20 minutes, and then I have about four more hours before I can drag her back to the hotel.

I just hope it all goes well.

Funny how much easier life was when I was just a kid. And here it was I just couldn’t wait to grow up.