Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Pied Piper of Southern Maine

My sister, leading a horde of children with a pinata, at the annual Barn Bash recently held at their house in Maine.

Zach Attack! Oh, Senior Pinata, you're not long for this world....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dude, is that a blade or a flake?

Once again our Neanderthal cousins-- my favorite underdogs of human evolution-- rise to the occasion. As a recent article --"Tools Test Debunks Dumb Neanderthals' Theory,"--on HealthDay reports, Neanderthals weren't the dumb 'cavemen' we've always made them out to be. For decades, theories have suggested that Cro-Magnons' tool making ability and intelligence were superior to the Neanderthals', and contributed to their demise. However, more recent experimentation has suggested that Homo sapiens did not necessarily have a distinct advantage over Neanderthals intelligence wise. Technically, experiments show the Neanderthals' 'flake' tools were just as efficient as the Cro-Magnons' blade tools. Click here to see full article.

Blade tools................................................................Flake tool

Then why did the Neanderthals die out? As has always been postulated, probably for several interrelated reasons. First, lack of reproductive success on the part of Neanderthals (infancy survival was low due to their robust size) was a major factor. Reproductive success may also have been affected by diet/environmental change, lack of resources, or interaction between the two species. Second, Neanderthals were evolutionary equipped for extreme cold, and the waning of the Ice Age changed their environment/diet, fairly quickly. Thirdly, along came the Cro- Magnon people from Africa, likely with diseases the Neanderthals were never exposed to. Competition between the species (Neanderthals and Homo sapiens co-existed in Europe for abt. 10,000 years) for food and resources may have further decimated the Neanderthal population.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Diesel Film-Racing Contest

I participated in the Boston Diesel Film Race competition last month, as a lighting technician and costume/prop queen. We had 24 hours to make a film. The theme was "dating," and the surprise action was "fluffing a pillow." My friend Molly made the film "Trust the Process," starring several of my good friends. Unfortunately our film was not in the front runners for prizes, but we had great fun anyway. We also got to see our film screened at the Brattle Theater! It's a great experience to make a film. Hopefully I'll get a copy of our film soon.

These are my favorites of the contenders. To see others, go to: Diesel Film Racing
"A Moment" by The Faucet Drinkers

"Car Lover" by 13th Hour

"Third Date" by Red Light District Attorneys

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rachel Charlotte, aka "Lottie"

My grandmother, Rachel C. Andrews, (sitting with sun hat next to my grandfather) was born in Winterton, Newfoundland, Canada. Here she is in a photo from the 1960's. She was a descendant of a long line of hardy Newfies. Below is a genealogy of her father's side, starting with the oldest known ancestor, Charles Andrews. Originally, Charles came from England. .

My Andrews Ancestry

Generation No. 1
1. CHARLES ANDREWS was born 1762. He married HESTER. She was born 1752.
Children of CHARLES ANDREWS and HESTER are:
2. i. JAMES ANDREWS, b. 1802, Heart's Delight, Newfoundland.
ii. HANNAH ANDREWS, b. 1783.
iii. HESTER ANDREWS, b. 1788.
iv. AARON ANDREWS, b. 1794.
vi. JOHN ANDREWS, b. 1807.
Generation No. 2
2. JAMES ANDREWS (CHARLES1) was born 1802 in Heart's Delight, Newfoundland. He married ELIZABETH BRYANT October 18, 1831 in Heart's Delight. She was born 1800.
i. AARON ANDREWS, b. 1833.
ii. GEORGE ANDREWS, b. 1840.
iii. CHARLOTTE ANDREWS, b. 1847.
iv. EDMUND ANDREWS, b. 1855.
3. v. JACOB ANDREWS, b. 1857, Scilly Cove, Newfoundland; d. 1896.
Generation No. 3
3. JACOB ANDREWS (JAMES2, CHARLES1) was born 1857 in Scilly Cove, Newfoundland, and died 1896. He married SARAH ADEY May 19, 1877. She was born 1860 in Hant's Harbour, Newfoundland, and died 1934.
Children of JACOB ANDREWS and SARAH ADEY are:
i. ALEXANDER ANDREWS, b. 1884; d. 1905, St. John's Fever Hospital.
iii. THOMAS ANDREWS, b. 1877; d. 1970.
4. iv. SAMUEL ANDREWS, b. 1879, Scilly Cove, Newfoundland; d. 1963.
v. EDMUND ANDREWS, b. 1881; d. 1892.
vi. EBENEZER ANDREWS, b. 1885; d. 1931.
vii. ESAU ANDREWS, b. 1889; d. 1972, Portugual Cove, Newfoundland.
viii. JACOB ANDREWS, b. 1893; d. 1983, Milford, MI USa; m. ELLIE MAY GREEN; b. 1903; d. 1988.
Generation No. 4
4. SAMUEL ANDREWS (JACOB3, JAMES2, CHARLES1) was born 1879 in Scilly Cove, Newfoundland, and died 1963. He married JEDIHAH PINHORN July 07, 1903. She was born 1882 in Scilly Cove, Newfoundland, and died 1945.

i. RACHEL CHARLOTTE ANDREWS, b. September 1903; d. November 1997; (My Paternal Grandmother)
ii. WILSON ANDREWS, b. 1905.
iv. NEHEMIAH ANDREWS, b. 1911.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vote for me!

I've written about this awesome website ---- Verbotomy--- before. Each weekday there's a cartoon, accompanied by a definition. Your challenge is to make up a word for the definition, and put it in a sentence. I noticed today's was especially funny, so I made up a word---heirhare. Check it out & vote for me by clicking here. You can also go to the sidebar; there's a link for Verbotomy. The cartoons and the website are created by James Gang.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Underwater--- glub, glub, glub......

Swimming, swimming
in the swimming pool
When days are hot

When days are cold

in the swimming pool
breaststroke, sidestroke, fancy diving too!
Don't you wish that you could have

Nothing else to do!

photos by j.t. (underwater antics superbly demonstrated by g.t.l. and z.t.l.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Led Zeppelin

I heard a young guy listening to Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills & Far Away" in his car today. He was grooving to the tune. I found myself grateful that some members of the younger, younger generation are well-rounded enough to seek out the great Led Zeppelin...... I guess that's what they call "timeless." Enjoy!

Led Zeppelin - Over The Hills And Far Away

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Little Renegades

Here are two photos of my sister Janet and me (ages 4 & 6) in my grandmother's kitchen in June 1970, just a few days before our sister Jen was born. Love those hippy, Beatles-like pants my sister is wearing, & my pants are on backwards. In photo 2, it looks like I have chocolate draining out of the side of my mouth. We really do look like little rugrats. It's pretty uncanny how much my nephew Gavin looks like Janet.

This picture was taken by my Uncle John, always a joker & a kid at heart. He allowed us to goof off for pictures, & even encouraged it. For a while, he was using his new gadget, a Polaroid Instamatic, everyday. Hence, there are numerous photos of us from 1969 to 1971, much like this one. I know in one picture (age 7) I'm hanging upside down in a tree. We were good subjects.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

24 Grandparents

Below are the ancestors of one of my grandparents, in Norway. There should be 31 individuals but one great-great grandmother's parents have eluded me. All of the individuals came from a province of Norway called Hordaland, outside of Bergen.


1. Hjalmar Nilson Grimstad, b. 1905 in Grimstad, Lindaas d.1986

Great grandparents

2. Nils Gullakssen, b. 1865 in Grimstad , Lindaas; d. 1938
3. Hennrika Mary Hansdatter, b. 1872 in Knarvik, Lindaas; d. 1956.

2nd Generation Great Grandparents

4. Gullak Haldorsen, b. 1832 in Seim Hosanger; d. 1922

5. Kristi Eiriksdatter, b. 1831 in Spurkeland Hosanger; d. 1928.

6. Hans Trulssen Knarvik, b. 1836 in Knarvik, Lindaas; d. 1918.

7.Kari Hansdatter, b. 1840 in Ravnberg. D. ?

3rd Generation Great Grandparents

8. Haldor Johannesson, born 1794 in Vikne Haus; d. 1841

9. Marta Ivarsdatter b. 1792 in Ikeland, Hosanger; d. 1877.

10. Eirik Ivarsson, b. 1800 in Gausereid, Lindaas; d.1876

11. Martha Nilsdatter, b. 1806 in Synnevaag, Nese; d. 1883.

12. Truls Hansson, b. 1803. d. ?

13. Anna Birgithe Jacobsdatter, b. 1811 in Grimstad , Lindaas; d.?

14. Unknown

15. Unknown

4th Generation Great Grandparents

16. Johannes Haldorsen b. 1760 in Dalseid, d. 1828 marrried 1787

17. Marta Olsdatter b. 1763 Furnes, Bruvik d. 1841

18. Ivar Gudmundson b. 1752 in Vallestrand, d. 1838 married 1782

19. Marta Andersdatter b. 1757 in Reystad d. 1843

20. Iver Erichsen b. 1762 Gauseried, Lindaas d. 1828 married 1790

21. Agothe Andersdatter b. 1763 in Sjauset d. 1842 (2nd wife)

22. Nils Olson b. 1774 in Nese

23. Kristi Villunsdatter d. 1773 in Sletten, Lindaas d. 1818

24. Hans Trulsen b. 1767 d. ? married in 1801

25. Martha Hansdatter b. 1783 in Fielddanger, Lindaas

26. Jacob Olsen b. 1765 d. ? married 1796

27. Anna Larsdatter b. 1771

28-31 UNknown.

When researching Norwegian ancestry, it is especially important to know farm names. Very often, the places, "Seim, Gausereid, Dalseid, Vallestrand," are names of farm cooperatives. One family may have owned the farm, but several families would have lived/ worked on the farm, very similar to sharecropping.

The families living on these farms were not necessarily related by blood, though in modern times (post 19th century) they may have shared a common last name. Hence, if you were born on "Seim" farm and immigrated to America, your last name may be "Seim," not Johansson or Johansdatter (son/daughter of Johan).

The cooperative farm was a way of life in rural Norway for centuries. Bygdeboks, or farm histories, were written in the 19th & 20th centuries to chronicle farm histories and genealogies. Needless to say, it is very valuable for a family historian to find the Bygdebok for the region he/she is researching.

The Digital Archives of Norway is an excellent source for research.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Zach!

Today is Z's birthday. Happy Birthday!!!! Here he is acting goofy on a subway train.

That's It: I'm buying a Hummer 2

I saw an article about the Hummer 2. Incredulous as it seems, GM is still making the model, and, even more incredulous, some people are still buying this car. Despite the obvious drawback of getting 12 mpg, (and costing 69,000) the Hummer has other unfortunate, and even downright dangerous, features. Apparently, poor rear visibility makes backing up the Hummer difficult. Because the Hummer is so high off the ground, you can't really see much more than the roof of most cars behind you. Also, because of the size and braking system, the article opines it's wise not to follow other cars too closely.

Nevertheless, GM hopes, these are small points, because the Hummer 2 has heated, cushioned seats, a seven slot grill, plenty of leg room, and nifty cup holders! And it's off road capability is great, and the Hummer 2 can tow up to 8,000 pounds! Not to mention, a rocket launcher could fire at you and you'd probably live to tell the tale. (Studies say this happens frequently in places like rural Wyoming)

For the typical gal or gent, these features should offset high cost and gas prices. I know that when I drive around Boston, there are
hardly ever any other drivers (or animals, pedestrians, parked cars, bikers, etc..) around me. In fact, the road is usually completely open for miles in front of me. Bostonians never tailgate so I shouldn't have to worry about plowing over cars in front of me. As for parking, poor visibility while backing up a 6,000 pound vehicle shouldn't be a problem. Rarely do I have to park my car anywhere but in my own spacious driveway.

Frequently, though, even in Boston I find myself having to clunk over gigantic boulders, cross raging rivers, plow up mountains, and tow 8,000 pounds of gear. And I'm always driving around with at least an entire soccer team in my back seat. And groceries are so heavy, my stinking Toyota Echo practically drags along carrying such stuff. Finally, you never know when someone might try to machine gun or bomb my car as I drive through the burbs.

Whew! Thank Goddess for the Hummer 2!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Have you seen these signs around town? I don't know about you, but these evacuation signs definitely put me at ease. I feel confident that in the event of a major disaster in the Boston area, I'd know exactly what to do and exactly where to go by just following one of these helpful signs.

No, Don't Walk. RUN!
What could be more clear? Bostonians are such courteous drivers to begin with, that I'm sure everyone would proceed out of town in an orderly fashion. There'd be absolutely no panic or mayhem because everybody would simply follow the arrows. It's hard to say what direction or where they're pointing, but we'd figure it out!!
Bon Voyage!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yoga for Kitties

Felines are natural yoga masters. Here are a few well orchestrated kitty poses by my two felines, Harper and Willa......

1. Harper demonstrating appropriate footing (hip distance apart) for Kitty Mountain Pose, (felina tah-dahs-anna)

2. Willa demonstrating Kitty Corpse Pose (felina shah-vahs-anna) on back, and Kitty Corpse Pose on the side.....
3. Harper in relaxed Pigeon Pose, with bolster
4. Harper in Sphinx Pose
5. Willa & Harper's cousin in Downward Facing Kitty, (ADHO Mukha Felinasana)