Friday, 7 October 2016

The Insidious Degradation of Society: Why You Must Vote

Whatever candidate is your choice, even if you hate both of them - YOU MUST VOTE.

It is so sad that there is frequently so little voter turnout in both American and Canadian elections. IMO, this is a slap in the face to our societal, if not biologically direct, forefathers and mothers who fought for the RIGHT to vote.

Please THINK about that.

Not long ago there was a large percentage of our population that was not allowed to vote, even if they wanted to.* In many countries around the world -TODAY- there are still many citizens who are not allowed to vote, even if they want to. If someone told you that you were not allowed to have a say in how your country is run today, what would your reaction be?? If someone told you that half the population of your country was not allowed to vote (including ONLY whatever gender, religious or ethnic background you particularly ascribe to) what would your reaction be??

As a citizen of a "free" country, YOU ARE LUCKY. Be thankful that you do not have to risk your life to obtain the basic rights and privileges of a democratic society.

Remember that this is only possible because citizens who came before you stood together and demanded change. People who came before you sacrificed and, in some cases, gave their LIVES in order to obtain the opportunity to vote.

 I believe we, as members of society, are obligated to honour those who fought before us AND those who are currently fighting across the globe (our fellow humans!!!) for this right. You are taking the PRIVILEGE of voting rights for granted by neglecting to get off your ass and get to the polls no matter the inconvenience. I guarantee you it will be much more than an inconvenience when your right to vote is taken away because so many people clearly don't care and the (eventual) 10% who do turnout vote to not give lazy asshats a choice in the matter anymore.

 Yeah, yeah, yeah. One vote will not change anything. One vote is only a drop in the bucket. But MANY water droplets can create a rainstorm or even a tsunami if they work together. A crowd of voices can shout louder than one.

To the same point, every apathetic breeds more apathy. And more. Until so very few are engaged that the ones who remain so take control. Then, it's "Hello Lybia".

You MUST make an effort to vote. You MUST submit your two cents. We may not have pennies in Canada anymore but cents are still money - they still have worth!!! Two cents may not have physical presence anymore but they still have value. Maybe not as much value as you'd like but still SOME.


If all you have to spend is two cents... why are you choosing to NOT spend them????

That two cents is the only way you get to have a say in how your immediate world works. That's so cheap!!!! What a deal!!

But wait. Isn't your voice worth more than that?? ...Yes, it IS!! But the only way to ensure your two cents is worth more someday is to INVEST IT! The only way to invest it is to add it to the collective.

Here you have a choice!! Choice is a LUXURY, my friend, don't forget that!!! And which way to invest your two cents is your choice, yours and yours alone. Nobody can tell you where to spend your two cents. No one can tell you which piggy bank to put it in.

So what are you going to do? Are you going to put them in the glass bank? the one made of candy floss? that titanium, unbending, unbreakable muther..? the biodegradable bank? Or are you going to put those two pennies into a random piggy bank?

Choice too hard? Is it easier to just chuck 'em than make a decision? You can't keep those two cents forever and you can't chuck them either. One way or another they will be invested. You can invest in apathy and the insidious degradation of society or you can invest in a cause. How much effort you put into choosing that cause is up to you.

I hope to God people get off their lazy, spoiled asses and remove their heads from said rectums.

Good luck.

Yes, That Asterisks Mean Something
* In Canada, women won the right to vote only 100 years ago (in 1916). That was only SOME of Canadian women, btw. Quebec was the last province to give women the right to vote... in 1940. My father was born that year, FYI, and my biological grandfather was born in 1919 -- only three years after his mother was considered equal to his father (in theory). This is NOT THAT LONG AGO.
In the USA, the fight for women's suffrage (the right to vote) took 80 YEARS. The first election American women were allowed to vote in was in 1920. Again, my own biological-grandfather pre-dates American women's right to vote.

And it was only in 1965 that black Americans** were afforded the right to vote without impediment. To put that into perspective, 1965 is the year my father immigrated to Canada, four years before he met my mother. 

**Interestingly, gender was more of an impediment for Canadian voters than race. After the abolition of enslavement (a gradual process ending around 1834****), black men in Canada were considered British subjects and, therefore, entitled to the right to the privileges of such status. Racism and various requirements for eligible voters inhibited black voters to an extent but the legal right existed. Black women were not discriminated against for the colour of their skin, only their gender, as they didn't win the right to vote until did white women.

Of further interest, in 1963 (two years before any black American was granted the right to vote), the first black Canadian was elected to parliament and three years after (in 1968) Canada's first black member of parliament was elected. 

**** NOT A TYPO!

Reference Resources

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Getting A Handle On Twitter By Using Lists

Originally published in the Sep/Oct edition of BIFHSGO's eNewsletter.

I bet you’ve been wondering how the heck some people follow SO many accounts on Twitter. You can barely keep up with the barrage of tweets from the 300 or so tweeps you do follow and you can’t even begin to imagine how celebrities can follow MILLIONS, right?

One way to combat that problem is to let go of being afraid to miss something. When I first began using Twitter - way back before Ashton Kutcher was the first tweeter to get 1 million followers - I used to “go back to the beginning” every morning and try to read through what all the people I was following had tweeted overnight. There was a TON of stuff to get through! Sometimes it wouldn’t even scroll all the way back to timestamps before my bedtime; frequently, I just ended up scanning good chunks of the history. It was cumbersome. Things fell off my To Do List. I felt pressured and anxious about keeping up and annoyed by people who posted “too much crap’.

The first thing I had to realize was that not everyone sleeps at the same time and, for most of the world, that is because they exist in alternate and sometimes drastically different time zones! Twitter is a global tool, it never sleeps!

Secondly, it’s impossible to follow everything that everyone posts. Even if you only follow 10 people, chances are someone will occasionally go on a bender and publish one tweet (or, even easier, one retweet!) every 30 seconds for hours on end. You probably won’t care about all of them, even if they’re from your celebrity crush. Chances are that you won’t be interested in every single tweet published by every single person you follow. Twitter is not meant to be read like a book; it’s meant to be scanned. Almost feels superfluous, wasteful or even shameful, doesn’t it?

Once I realized that Real Time is FAST, Real Time is NOW, that any given tweet has a lifespan of only about 18 minutes* (in other words, it’s not meant to be looked at after 18* minutes have passed) and that, if something is really important or exciting I won’t miss it because MANY people will be tweeting about it, not just a few and that any earth-shattering subject I want or need to know about will likely be talked about for longer than 18* minutes -- then I was able to relax and begin to enjoy Twitter the way it’s meant to be used. Twitter is a real-time tool that allows people to participate, share, comment and engage en masse from the four corners of the world, different boroughs of a city, or beside each other on the sofa. It is for the immediate dispersal of information. The 2011 Libyan Revolution (the organization of which Twitter is credited with) is a perfect though more serious example of Twitter’s purpose. An uprising is what the younger crowd would call “Hard Core” Live Tweeting.whereas Live Tweeting a genealogy conference would, perhaps, be considered “Soft Core” Live Tweeting.

[Of interest: The Truth About Twitter, Facebook and the Uprisings in the Arab World]

Important reminders, announcements and news stories will be covered by slower, more permanent forms of media and social media that one will have less chance of missing.

Another way to manage the mass influx of tweets is with Twitter Lists. You can create public or private lists of Tweeters (whether you follow them or not) to curate content into whatever groupings you desire (ie, genealogy topics, home location, research locations, repositories, friends, family, co-workers, societies, crafts, professionals, businesses, artists, etc, etc, etc). Then, instead of relying on your main feed which includes everything from everybody you follow, you can digest more manageable portions depending on your need, available time or particular interest by going directly to the appropriate list.

Twitter How-To Links
* RE: a tweet's lifespan is 18 minutes**
** CORRECTION NOTICE: In the Sep/Oct 2016 BIFHSGO eNewsletter, I used the number 12 in this article instead of the (correct) number 18 when talking about tweet lifespan. I think I have "number dysmorphia" sometimes... strange.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Preparing to Travel to Tokyo for the First Time - First Thing's First: Research

The following blog post(s) are published here in the spirit of recording the present
for the interest of future generations -- which is a big part of genealogy, BTW.
You can't just go back! The present will be the past someday
[tomorrow, in fact, if you want to get technical]!

Hubby is embarking upon a business trip to Tokyo next WEEK. Of course, that means I've been doing a fair amount of touristy research since I will have quite a lot of time to myself in the world's most populous metropolis. Just as there was NO way I wasn't going with him,* there is equal chance I will be sitting around waiting for him to be done with work before experiencing the culture, heritage, history and FOOD that Japan has to offer. This may well be a once in a lifetime experience and I fully intend to do my utmost to live the shit out of it. That said, I'm not the adventuresome spirit I'd like to think I am or even wish to be** but I'm gonna giv'r a damn good go.

Thank gawd I travelled solo to RootsTech in 2015 or I may have been rendered entirely useless on my own in Japan for lack of confidence in the face of my social anxiety disorder!! A city -- not a country, a CITY - of around 13 million people is plenty scary (For comparison, Ottawa has ...holy crap! less than 1 million people spread out over a much larger area than Tokyo). Nevermind the fact that the prevalent language will not be my own and I have nada clue when it comes to Japanese vocabulary... domo origato mr. roboto... sake... hai... and samurai ... that's pretty much it.

Clearly, I had a lot to look into before I would feel semi-confident proceeding on my own into such a vastly different culture. Upon hearing of our exotic travel plans the first thing my helpful mother said: "Be careful you don't show them your toes!" I'm thinking "what the hell's wrong with my toes??" but, of course, she meant she thought it is considered rude to bare your tootsies in Japanese culture. SMH. I'm not 100% sure this is true (she is adamant) but I don't plan on displaying my feetsies anytime, anywhere on this trip so I think it is a moot point. Especially, because I don't have the moolah to enjoy a pedicure beforehand.

Anyhoo. Onward.

What's the first thing you do when you are planning to travel to a new, exotic location? If you're me, you order books from Amazon. When you're me AND you're poor, you make due with what you can get from the local library -- and that equals all of the Japan/Tokyo travel books I could get my grubby little paws on!

Books in the photo (at beginning):

1. Tokyo A Cultural History by Stephen Mansfield. I have to admit that, so far, I have only browsed this book but it looks like a wonderful overview of the history in which a foreign traveller would be most interested. Not too deep, not too light. I haven't decided yet whether or not I'm going to bring this to read on the plane...

2. Tokyo 29 Walks in the World's Most Exciting City by John H. Martin and Phyllis G. Martin. This travel tome comes with a folded map of Tokyo in a pocket on the back flap. [Yes! Even the library copy!] I think 29 Walks is probably my favourite of the lot because it includes many smaller maps that give you an accurate understanding of where attractions are located in relation to each other and just how much walking will be involved. [Answer: A LOT.] Ironically, I don't plan to do a whole heck of a lot of walking to and from attractions [I'm-a-teach me the terrifying train system, first thing!]. The suggested tours give you a good idea of which attractions to schedule per day.

3. A Guide to Tokyo, Kyoto, Tohoku, and Japanese Culture Past and Present by Sumiko Kajiyama. This talks about major attractions plus some of the more obscure, more specialized city highlights like the Hello Kitty Shop, the Myth of Tomorrow Mural and 100 Yen stores. This book is my second favourite.

4. Fodor's Travel Tokyo. This one is your best overall travel guide book. It has some of everything, as per the Fodor's usual.

5. Live & Work in Japan by Erica Simms. I borrowed this one because I thought it might have a few not well-known tips for travelling on a budget in Tokyo -- thinking, maybe thrift or discount stores. Also, I thought it might have some enlightening info regarding dealing with potential medical issues, safety precautions, emergency procedures, cultural traditions. Ultimately, I think this would be of more use to, obviously, someone who plans to work in Japan or someone who is going to spend more than a week and may be interacting more personally with locals (ie, staying with them).

6. Seeing Tokyo by Kaori Shoji.
7. Tokyo megacity by Donald Richie.
These are the coffee-table style photo books from the picture. In all honesty, I have not opened either of them even once. I thought they might give me an idea of what sort of similar style book to purchase in Tokyo as a memento of our trip. I think, now, that I will either design my own or just see what pops out at me if I happen to wander into a bookstore.

Next thing? GOOGLE.

The first thing I discovered, actually, was a video posted to a YouTube channel by Brittany from Boston, a young lady who globe trots solo. Her accompanying travel blog is very helpful as well. These are her Tokyo blogposts:

This foray into the tubes, of course, started me down the rabbit hole... I don't know about you but my first inclination when researching is never to hop onto YouTube. But turns out, for travel, it's a GREAT idea! What better to give you a realistic idea of what it's like to travel around a foreign city than a first-person video from someone who is also a foreigner travelling in that exact city??

Among the many vlogs that were either annoying or just junk, there were a few one-off videos I found helpful:
6 Things that are OKAY in Japan (but are illegal/rude in the US) via Texan in Tokyo
Tokyo Travel Guide via Attache
Japanese Street Food via Amazing Street Food
Travel Channel Culture Shock via CyneriaDOC
3 Tokyo Travel Vlogs by Ann Lu
20 Essential Travel Tips for Gamers Going to Tokyo via IGN
25 Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan by Mark Wiens
Tokyo Vacation Travel Guide via Expedia
22 Things to do in Tokyo, Japan via Red Dragon Diaries
Japan Travel Guide: 10 Things you need to know Before Coming to JAPAN by Experience Japan with Yuka

There are a series of Japan-related vlogs by Kim Dao who is a young Australian transplant to Japan. This series, while helpful, is definitely geared to a younger demographic than old mid-thirties LDC. While I like Kim very much, I could only take the videos in short doses whereas the next channel I could watch for hours (and I kinda have).

And that channel, which has frequent and recent videos about travelling in Tokyo, belongs to Jesse and Anna Lee (although the channel is called AnnaLee and Jesse). Anna Lee is a hairstylist who works periodically in Japan. Jesse is a photographer and her husband who accompanies her. Together they create entertaining vlogs about their journies, their "hauls" of loot and tutorials. #JesseEats is a particular favourite of mine. Here is a link to their Japan-related vlogs.

When I needed to get my jaws around some more meat and potatoes, I looked to Google again. This time, I ignored the video results and chomped down on the other links she spit out.

Websites of particular interest to me as a first timer to Tokyo:
This might seem like a no-brainer but Trip Advisor is useful for so many things! Read recent reviews of the hotel you are going to stay at or even get TIPS for booking at those hotels (for example, which specific floors or rooms to avoid, which floors to request for various views or employees with whom one can look forward to interacting). There is usually a list of popular nearby attractions, reviews of all of those - including visitor photos! - and forums where you can ask questions of previous visitors, or staff. and, I'm sure, many other sites offer similar reviews and forums which should also be checked.

Live Japan
Unmissable Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Tourism, Culture and Sport Resource Directory
Japan National Tourism Organization

Please note that I do not, necessarily, endorse any of these companies. I just found their sites useful to my research. I probably have not booked anything with any of them.

[And because I'm a nerd.... ]
Pokemon Go In Japan is a site I found thanks to the aforementioned Kim Dao. It helps you to plan your trip to Japan in a sort of Pinterest-style. You can send your created trip to your phone and/or print out your final plan. It's in beta testing but seems to be improving in even just the short while I've been aware of it.

Since I will be busy over the next few days with BIFHSGO's 22nd annual family history conference here in Ottawa (Follow #BIFHSGOcon on twitter), I may not get to publish the other prep posts I have in mind. But you will be able to follow our Tokyo adventures on Twitter @elle_dee_see in real time!


Yes, the Asterisks Mean Something
* Although, admittedly, there was a significant chance I wasn't going to be able to go right up until the last minute before booking. I would have been almost devastated to send hubby alone and he would have cried, too, because he doesn't like to fly and has never been anywhere outside of North America (although we mustn't speak of such matters).

** I'm certainly not as outgoing and brave and worldly as my beautiful cousin Jen whose twitter and travels you can follow HERE.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Racism Is Not Dead

I normally try to abstain from political commentary because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I really don't like to argue when other people aren't at least open to different ideas or willing to agree to disagree... I have also been wary of alienating potential distant cousins or even potential future clients with whom I only connect with via social media. But the past few days have really scared me. I knew the USA was still a hotbed of racism but was naively unaware that similar prejudice is still so rampant in Canada. This is no longer a "political issue" this is a humanitarian issue. And it has everything to do with the history we are now creating for our descendants.

Last night, I posted the following:

I must have had a bee in my bonnet after that because I took on a few people's ignorant posts after that. One carried into this morning. I share to hopefully illuminate the scariness and maybe to perpetuate positivity or influence discussion. In my opinion, if you feel the need to get personal or to get nasty in a discussion or argument, your points are not solid and are likely based more upon emotion than intellect/fact. I think the words and phrases and general way individuals choose to communicate speaks volumes.

Names have been altered to protect the privacy of those involved and links have been taken out but spelling/grammar/punctuation and everything else is exactly the same.

RDW shared 


They win because you've sunk to their level. Makes perfect sense to me. I don't want to be anything like my enemies.

But if they are killing your people or your way of life you can't just take it you have to take a stand and fight back

They can't kill your way of life if you don't let them. They can't kill anyone if they don't have access to weapons, can't get into the country or on a plane if there are proper security measures, don't have access to nuclear weapons or bomb materials. IMO, lots of other things must be tried before resorting to wars and retaliation killings.

But unfortunately its already happening and our government is allowing it to happen easyest way to take over a country with out actual war take over businesses transportation then comes government

I don't agree that that is happening in Canada. There are some areas in which that might be a risk but if you think it's actually happening on a broad scale then we'll just have to agree to disagree. In regards to your original post, I agree 100% with Trudeau and I thank God daily that I do not live in the USA.

Love your enemy!

Yes so they can do to us like they did in Florida in a night club or Paris for no reason at all they just start shoting up the place and killing hundreds but thank god for our government and our leaders that let them in so they can do the same to us their children took chains to school and choked a little twice in the same week the school did nothing this happened in Nova Scotia then a boy was picked on because they felt the need to so now the boy the needed to go out a play soccer can't because of this kids who swears isis forever but no they are not changing anyone's life right you really need to rethink this they should not have been allowed in Canada after what they did in Paris

The answer to all of this is not KILLING people. Get a grip.

Really we have to die and whst are we to do invite them to lunch get clue these ppl don't know nothing but killing they don't think like we do

exactly. they are killing because they supposedly think differently than us. if we kill them back, we are being just like them. stooping to their level. it solves nothing. if you can't see there are other ways to deal with these problems then you are part of the problem and I feel sorry for you.

Then do tell everyone one the government the army and everyone else that has lost their lives due to them tell them how to deal with them then sense you know it all

I haven't claimed to know it all. And I'm not claiming that war may not be necessary sometimes - as a last resort. You can support soldiers without supporting war or killing. You can support victims without advocating reciprocal violence. The world is not black and white.

I unstand that but our Country let these ppl in without asking to see if we as a whole and the Country vote them in especially after Paris no one what's to go around fighting everyday to have a safe home but our government that you love so much thinks that we need to think like them not like peace keepers like we have always have so if everyone's way of thinking is changing it's because they feel that they need to so they can protect their families and friends not everyone is willing to just sit there and let them kill everyone that they see fit for now reason at all

Racist! That's all I have to say. Your better off not thinking. And please don't vote. Canada doesn't need another bigot

By "these people" I assume you mean the Syrian refugees. What do Syrian refugees have to do with Paris??? I don't agree that our government is thinking like terrorists instead of peacekeepers; I think the exact opposite. I'm not willing to sit around and let people kill me or my family. There is a difference between doing nothing and not killing people. I really think that you don't have a full understanding of immigrants versus terrorists. I hope you try to educate yourself a little more than you appear to be educated about these topics. Fear stems from a lack of understanding. If there were more understanding in the world, we wouldn't have these problems.
Oh I do and in each place that got shot up was done by the Immigrant refugees you can not tell me that I don't understand I'm not a stupid person I am well educated and I read everything I do understand that these refugees are not coming here without malice in their heart they intend to do damage and they are doing it they do not wish to just live in harmony with others in this country they do not respect this country or any other country they do not show respect to this country or any other country that they live in they do not show respect to anyone in this country they do not try to be friendly and their children are just as disrespectful as they are their children are just as vicious and willing to try to commit as many crimes to other humans as they do such as Nova Scotia with the two children with the change in the schoolyard choking one little girl twice in one week don't tell me that I don't understand I do and I would protect my family the best way I can

Even if it were true that immigrant refugees have shot up every place, which it is not, you cannot say that EVERY single immigrant is coming to Canada or the US with malice in their hearts. You just can't. You don't know what is in any individual's mind and to generalize as you are doing is not fair. To classify one whole religion or type of people in any particular way is racist. SOME of the immigrants are probably the way you describe but certainly not all and not the vast majority. A refugee is someone who is displaced because of war and has nowhere else to go. Why would they want to hurt the country that takes them in and gives them shelter? I suggest you start reading a variety of news not just the sources that speak to what you think you already know. Challenge your beliefs. It can't hurt you to think about all other options. Good luck.

Country was founded on immigrants murdering The native people. Probably your great great grandparents this country is not yours it's everybody's and just like there's bad people here there's bad people everywhere. But I'm not can argue anymore with you because you can't argue with stupid

She's clearly not stupid - we don't need to resort to name calling. In my opinion she just clearly lacks knowledge about this situation and people in general. It's scary as hell but the proper response is to foster education and understanding, not to promote negativity and hate by name calling.

just pisses me off that people can be so racist!

Stuart I totally get it.

I am educated thank you and I am a native so I more then anyone would know about the killings of how this Country was taken am I happy about NO but to say I am stupid because I do see things the way you do that is childish I raised my children not to fight and to alway try to stay out of argument but now I read ALL NEWS PAPERS and the news scares me to think that so many ppl think like you and not look at the fect that they are fighting for NO REASON IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY their way of thinking is so different then ours

In my opinion, you are free to see things however you want just as I am - but no one is entitled to spew hatred. That is what you are doing, in my opinion, and it makes you no better than the negativity/nasty people you are trying to avoid. Going back to the original post, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. That doesn't help anyone. To generalize about any particular sect of people is unfair; it is racist and it is wrong. Are all natives fat, lazy drunks? No. Are some of them? Yes. Should we force all of them into rehab? No.

In conclusion, I don't anticipate being able to change anyone's opinion. I'm happy just to encourage constructive discussion. Basically, I can't sit around and say nothing when masses of people are being treated unfairly. I believe we must all choose positivity and love. Tolerance is a choice and we all deserve it. I choose to not be part of the problem. I choose to be a part of the solution. I will not perpetuate hate.


Monday, 25 January 2016

Come Speak in Ottawa in 2017!

My blog doesn't get a whole heck of a lot of traffic YET!!! but I wanted to share this call for presentations so that some of my international genea-friends* might apply to COME VISIT ME!!! 

The Ontario Genealogical Society's 2017 conference is helping to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. It will be held from 16-18 June in my current, beautiful hometown and our nation's capital city: Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA!
In my estimation, OGS conferences are attended by around 500 people. Compared to my experience at RootsTech 2015, this is a much more relaxed, intimate experience. Please consider presenting and submit A FEW ;-) proposals to help create the most EPIC genea-con Canada has ever seen in honour of our patriot ancestors! I have highlighted the portions below that are suited to not-as-Canadian-specific presentations. C'mon!! USE YER IMAGINATIONS!!
So sayeth Tim Gunn.

Call for Presentations OGS Conference 2017
The annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2017 will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation. As 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, Ottawa Branch OGS will host the annual OGS conference and give the Conference a national flair, bringing together genealogists and family historians from all over Canada. We are looking for speakers and talks of interest to genealogists from all provinces.
In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: family history from every region and territory of Canada (e.g. Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia); migration to and from Canada and also within Canada and how this helped to not only build our families, but also Canada; pre- and post-1867 research in Upper Canada; religious associations; military connections; the latest updates on computer, social media and genealogy database technology; the ever growing use of DNA testing for genealogy; and skill-building for family historians (e.g. use of the genealogy proof standard, getting more out of online resources).

Speakers from other related disciplines are welcome! Statisticians, demographers, archaeologists, researchers, archivists, librarians, geographers, cartographers, scientists, theologians, doctors, PhD candidates, software gurus, internet intellectuals, social media mavens, and historians of all kinds have information of interest to family historians and we would like to hear from you!
Most sessions will be one hour long. Sessions may be streamed in or out of the Conference venue. Topics for interactive, hands-on workshops are also welcome (typically half-day sessions). Speakers will receive an honorarium, plus appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. In early 2017, speakers will submit content for inclusion in a syllabus.
Please submit your proposals by e-mail. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide a unique title, a summary of your presentation (250 words maximum), the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and your A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged.
To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2017 Program Committee at:
For more information about OGS or Ottawa Branch respectively, please visit: or

Keep in mind, with the Canadian dollar at a crap-tastic low, our beautiful country should be considered prime territory for your genea-tourism!

Yes, The Asterisks Mean Something

PS. If you're not on this little list and you think you should be, chances are I still consider you too big a genea-celeb and I'm too shy to name you as a friend. LOL

Friday, 1 January 2016

Genea-Resolutions for 2016

I'm not generally someone who believes in setting New Year's resolutions; I prefer to set goals as required. However, for the purpose and betterment of this blog, I'm going to throw my Storm Trooper helmet into this ring of New Year traditions. After a stressful 2015 during which I felt "in the weeds" much of the time in most aspects of my life, compiling a list certainly can't hurt my focus! Right? Right!
Click the meme to follow the link to where I found this gem.
(Re above meme) Just kidding!

My overall goal for this coming year is to make genealogy my Number One Priority. Other than health and the other essentials of a productive life, my coursework and genea-goals WILL come first. Genealogy tasks and commitments WILL be attended to before any other. If a social gathering conflicts, too bad for the living people!

By December 31st 2016, I also will have...
  1. Published at least 365 total blog posts (here, duh!). Keeping a thought on realism and time management, I have decided that this does not necessarily equate to one post published per day.
  2. Applied for at least one genealogy-related scholarship or award to assist with expenses.
  3. Fully completed at least my Canadian Records certificate from The National Institute of Genealogical Studies (my aim is actually to have fully completed this much sooner than the end of the year).
  4. Become an effective member of the social media team for The Surname Society, specifically, and begun participating more in/with other societies/groups of interest.
  5. Developed a better sense of direction and some clear cut goals for this blog, my social media strategy, my genealogical education goals and, ultimately, my overall genea-"career".* 
There are, of course, OH so many other areas in which I have aims to better and/or get more involved: general organization... my never-ending reading list... myriad societies and groups... DNA comprehension and use in genealogical projects... writing and publishing in non-blog formats... the technical side of things on this blog and, maybe, a website... visiting local repositories... generating family and youth interest in the family tree... Yeah, the list goes on and on and on and on and very quickly becomes very overwhelming to the point of petrification...
Found on Pinterest. Cannot find link to original upload but copyright is indicated on picture.
So, I shall only publicly commit to the above-mentioned quintet of tasks which have been plaguing my thoughts the most incessantly of late. And you shall deal with it! So there! HA!

The MyHeritage blog has posted five New Year's resolutions every genealogist should set, HERE. What are YOUR genealogy goals or resolutions for 2016??

Yes, The Asterisks Mean Something

* Perhaps a good start would be to stop using quotations when talking about my potential future career in the field of genealogy, eh? LOL