Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why Some People Shouldn't Drive

Some people should not, no matter what the circumstances, ever be given a driver's license - me being one of them.  I happen to have the most horrible sense of direction and although I have been diving for almost 30 years I can count the number of times I've driven on a highway on one hand or been able to figure out which way is North, South, East or West when driving.  So it was no surprise that when my son asked me to drive him to a friend's house a fair distance from our home I got a bit nervous.  He couldn't drive himself since he knew he would be drinking (kudo's to him for being responsible) and his dad had already gone to bed so at 10 o'clock this evening we set out.  He drove there taking the simplest route possible so that I should be able to remember the way back easily enough. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.  I started out ok but suddenly I panicked and went opposite the way I was supposed to.  That little mistake cost me two hours driving, a half a tank of gas, four phone calls to my children (who were already looking for me) and a final call to my brother begging him to come and get me..    I can find people that lived almost two hundred years ago and connect them with living relatives and yet I can't find my way home!

My Route:


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being Italian

Growing up I thought being the daughter of Italian immigrants was hard - after all, we weren't allowed to do many of the things our friend's did.  There were no sleep overs at friend's houses or camping trips.  We had curfews and always had to sit at the table at dinner.  If our parents went to visit someone we went too (at least until we were sixteen or so).  We were allowed friends though - as many as we wanted and both male and female ones - as long as they came to the house and as long as they were also willing to sit at the dinner table for what sometimes seemed like an eternity.  On those nights we prayed that the only *real* Italian food my mother served would be spaghetti.
We weren't allowed to talk back to my parents EVER regardless of how old we were and if my father told us to do something we didn't make the slightest expression which might have been mistaken for disobedience.  As for swearing, I think I was 23 the first time I used the s*** word in front of my dad.  That promptly landed me a swift slap across my mouth from across the kitchen table from my dad and a week long lecture about disrespect from my mother. 
Times have really changed...I have three grown children of my own now who for the most part are wonderful and in spite of the way they dress or act, their friends are pretty good too.  The only thing I can't get used to is how much they can challenge us or push an issue when they want to make a point.  I often threatened to send them to live with my father when they were misbehaving but that didn't work.  Turns out grandparent's are much easier on grandchildren than they are with their own kids. I think they get some secret feeling of sweet revenge for things we did when we were growing up.  I should have known - my grandfather was no different and once even offered to hit my dad for me.  I wonder if I will enjoy the same pleasure when I'm a grandmother........

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Computer Woes

Looking at this blog I just realized I haven't posted since February!  Didn't seem like that long but so much has happened I guess time just slipped away from me.  My PC has been acting up so I bravely attempted to reinstall VISTA - keep in mind I have never done an install before nor did I later realize was it really needed but hey, that's me.  Of course the computer, although  working was not perfect.  I sort of put files where they shouldn't be and quite a few of my programs no longer worked as they should so last week I enlisted the help of a friend and decided to have him do another clean install for me.  But why stop at VISTA?  Why not install WIN7?  So he did.

A few problems I have since encountered..I didn't have enough RAM to really run WIN7 correctly so number 1 son went out and purchased me some.  While this did speed up my system a hell of a lot my SKYPE, Google Talk, audio and webcam still don't work.  And they keep freezing my computer. In fact, last night for one session I actually got the 'blue screen' telling me windows shut down to protect my operating system.  If this continues I'll be definitely looking for a new PC in a short while.

Not all is lost though --- I was smart enough to back everything, including all my genealogy files onto my server and external hard drive so yay me!

Lots going on..been extracting records from several comuni in Reggio Calabria over the past few months.  At some point I hope to get them all online.  I'm thinking of hiring an assistant or enlist some volunteers to help.  There are so many records but not enough time to do it all myself.  If anyone is interested shoot me a message.  I'd be happy to have the help!