Links, 11.08.10

I missed quite a bit last week, like Election Day. Never fear, I voted. I turned off my Internets, walked my younger daughter to her school, detoured into the gymnasium and exercised what’s been my citizen’s right for 90 years, thanks awfully. Then I went home and fed my sourdough starter, being fairly sure that the flavor would mirror my mood by the next morning. Still, it was a luxurious pleasure to go to bed that night, Internet-, TV- and radio-free.

It was not ever thus. In another life, I used to stay up until 3:30 AM updating vote-totals charts while the senior editors stood around pontificating about swing voters and soccer moms Being Crucial, and eating all the pizza intended for us lowly chart updaters. I used to HATE that. You’d be stark raving ready to eat your chair stuffing, the pizzeria was long closed and the bosses had just left you a couple of crusts. Or one cheese slice to be divided among six copy editors.

Worse, in certain states (*cough, cough, IhateyouConnecticut, wheeze*), all the bars were closed too, and you had to cross the state line to Port Chester with your hungry, grumpy copy editor buddies for beer and whines. The next day, you’d be slightly hungover during the irritated phone call from the town clerk, demanding to know what idiocy compelled you to print the assistant dogcatcher vote total as 11,282 instead of 11,285. But there was no time for lengthy apologies! You were plunging ahead with the post-Election-Day wrap-up about how the Crucial Voters didn’t show up in the expected numbers, even after all that ink they got, the ungrateful buggers.

Well, it’s another week, and the democracy I still believe in wheezes on. I try to stay amused, and hope this amuses. If not, perhaps it’s as dear Dorothy Parker says: “If you can read this, you’ve come too close.”

Or perhaps you’re just here for the links! Here ya go:

Technicalities: Dick Eastman shared a lot of interesting techie posts this week, two of my favorites being the schedule for February’s RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, which looks amazing, and a detailed review of the new release of Family Tree Maker for Macintosh. I love my Reunion but have to give serious thought to FTM, with its ability to link up to plus major search engines.

Irish R.C. records: If this pans out, in a year the National Library of Ireland may be putting 520 microfilm rolls of Roman Catholic parish registers online. An exciting prospect for anyone interested in tracing Irish vitals before civil registration began in 1864, even if relatively few Catholic records predate the 1820s.

Getting your bearings: Kimberly Powell has some excellent pointers for getting on track when your searching takes you into a geographic area you haven’t studied before.

Mad for magazines: John Reid at Anglo-Celtic Connections discusses ways to use online periodical indexes to uncover potentially useful articles in genealogy and historical journals.

Acting and re-enacting: In a fistful of sad headlines about cemeteries running out of funds or being vandalized, a graveyard story from Terre Haute,  Indiana stood out for its quirky good cheer. The lives and stories of the early parishioners of St. Mary’s Village Parish (established 1837) were recalled by costumed volunteers who gathered at the old church cemetery, some of them descendants of the people they portrayed. (Including a 19th-century Emma Bird portrayed by a 21st-century Emma Bird!) Lots of good backstory on this one.

Gotta go now. My kids are up and somewhat bewildered at what the clock says — what, they’re on time this morning? I love that first week of Falling Back, when you constantly feel like there’s an extra hour in your pocket.

Hope you make good use of your hours, and enjoy the week.


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