Apr 252016

A small update to my genealogy database today – ANZAC Day 2016 – 102 years since the start of World War 1 – “The Great War”.

First, my cousin Andrew Moffat, who has our grandfather’s medals from World War 1 sent me decent photographs of them a few weeks ago. I have now got them linked up to Grandad’s page in the genealogy database.
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Second, a post on Facebook shared that a second cousin once removed – Flight Lieutenant Robert Leslie Scarlett RNZAF – was featured on the Facebook page “Air Force Museum of New Zealand” as one of their remembrance stories for ANZAC Day 2016. Robert was taking part in air operations on the island of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands in December 1944 when his plane crashed, killing the pilot and navigator instantly, and injuring the 3 others on board. Robert Scarlett was the radio operator. He, and the two injured gunners were rescued by Australian troops but Robert and one of the gunners died on the way down the mountain. Robert is buried at the Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery in New Caledonia. A search of their records revealed that Robert is buried in the same plot as his first cousin Warrant Officer Theo Raymond Scarlett RNZAF who was killed in action in Rabaul, New Guinea in June 1944.

Oct 172012

After more than 20 years, the roof on our house was getting a bit tired – the shingles had lost much of the gravel on them, and for some time there had been a few mysterious leaks that I could never completely find. So we bit the bullet and have had the olde shingles torn off and a new roof – with 50 year non-prorated warranty – put up. Day 1 saw well more than half the job done. I set up my two Canon digital cameras with the CHDK software on them to enable the Intervalometer and had them each taking a photo every 60 seconds during the day. I put these together with “Time Lapse Assembler” in to two time-lapse movies at 4 frames per second, so the videos are going at 240 times actual speed. Here they are:




Mar 262012

24 March 2012 was the West Michigan Science Olympiad at Grand Valley State University. As we had done in previous years (see this post from 2008 for example) Lisa and Roger went with others from the Wyoming General Motors plant to run the bottle rocket competition.

Some rules changes from previous years:

  1. the rockets could not change shape in flight – ie they could not deploy any system to lower the rocket to the ground more slowly. The rockets had to go up and come back down without use of things like parachutes
  2. the bottles could be no more than 1 litre now – in previous years they had been allowed to use 2 litre bottles
  3. each team could launch 2 rockets and the combined time of both rockets was added together, along with participation points to arrive at their final score.
Blast Off - Just lifted off

Just lifted off – a lucky press of the shutter button.

Below is a gallery of pictures showing some of the goings on during the day (click one of the thumbs to open a slide show). Below that again is a gallery of images of blast off. Continue reading »

Nov 082010

It’s been a while since I posted here – the last one was a series of images so that they could be seen by WoodTV 8 here in Grand Rapids to use as images on screen for a segment I was going to be part of to publicise the Western Michigan Genealogical Society’s Got Ancestors?! 2010 Are They Who You Think They Are? with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak.

Don Bryant and I did get to appear on their show eightWest to talk about genealogy and our upcoming Seminar – see this post.

Since then it’s been quite a bit of work getting things ready for the Seminar – arrangements at the Prince Conference Center, arrangements with the speaker Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, handling the registrations as they came in, make name tags, prepare syllabus for printing, organise some great door prizes, and other things I likely can’t remember.

We had a GREAT weekend, with the presentation of Michelle Obama’s Roots on Friday night, and then 4 GREAT sessions with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak on Saturday.

Halloween has been and gone, so has our annual trip to “The Haunt” with Kyle and Zoe, and we got to finally meet young Derek Smith – son of Jeremy and Jennifer Smith. I’ll try to put some posts and photo galleries up of these events in the hopefully not too distant future.

 Posted by at 10:55 pm
Sep 272010

ArtPrize hit Grand Rapids last year (2009) as a new idea from Rick Devos. Artists were invited to display their artwork at various venues in downtown Grand Rapids. Some were indoors, hosted in various businesses and others were outdoors. It was a huge success, although Lisa and I didn’t quite realise what it was about until it was over and the winner had taken away their $250,000 prize, AND sold the winning piece to the Devos family.

This year we vowed to be more active and so we spent Saturday afternoon wandering around downtown Grand Rapids with thousands of other people taking in some of the exhibits.

A few of my favourite works are here, and then a more complete photo gallery is below.

Simply Salvage by Brent Ahmicasaube in collaboration with Tad Caswell

Simply Salvage by Brent Ahmicasaube in collaboration with Tad Caswell

Interactive Barcode Portraits by Scott Blake

Interactive Barcode Portraits by Scott Blake

Play Me I'm Yours - Street Pianos by Luke Jerram

Play Me I’m Yours – Street Pianos by Luke Jerram

Paper Migration by Richard Shipps

Paper Migration by Richard Shipps

Svelata Admirers

Svelata Admirers

Continue reading »

Sep 142010

I read an article today “Monotype Imaging regears for a Web-font future” about the release of most of the Monotype Font Library for use on the Web.

Currently it’s free to sites with less than 25,000 hits per month, so I figured I’d “have a lash at it”. The result of changing just the h1 and h2 styles on this site to use Web Fonts can be seen above, and in the comparison image below here.

Web Fonts shown on left, original "boring" Neue Helvetica on right.

Web Fonts shown on left, original "boring" Neue Helvetica on right.

On the left the Web Fonts are in use. The h1 header at the top Roger’s Ramblings is Lisbon™ Bold Italic-W01.

The h2 header post title Water Garden in August is American Uncial™ Regular-W01

To get started, go to http://www.webfonts.fonts.com/


Aug 282010

After looking at the petroglyphs, we spent about an hour walking the 1.5 mile track that follows parts of the Cass River through the Historic State Park. It seemed for the most part eerily devoid of wildlife – apart from tiny flies and mosquitos!!!!!

The occasional Lobelia cardinalis – the Cardinal Flower – brightened the forest, and a few fungii on the trees and forest floor provided contrast to the greens we saw along the way.

(click any thumbnail to open a slideshow)

 Posted by at 9:41 pm
Aug 282010

Lisa wanted to visit the Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park, so we set off on Wednesday to go over to the “thumb” area to see the Petroglyphs – quite a drive from Grand Rapids – 200 miles, plus afterwards another 150 miles down to Saline to stay the night with Lisa’s Mum!!

I was a bit underwhelmed by it, but it was interesting to see it. We also took the 1 hour walk around the track through the State Park.

(click any thumbnail to open a slideshow)

 Posted by at 12:33 pm