Common Sense

They say common sense isn’t so common. I don’t know about that. I think common sense is more common than people realize. It’s just that we only hear about those who don’t have it. The vast majority of people just use their common sense and get on with their lives. They don’t get the same amount of attention that people who don’t exercise common sense. That’s probably for the best. Could you imagine what the news would be like if they focused on the people who weren’t doing stupid things?

It would be boring. It would be intrusive. Nothing would get done because the camera crews would be in the way. So perhaps it’s better to have the news crews and press hounding the idiots who don’t have a lick of common sense, or don’t exercise it enough. Don’t be fooled by that though, everyone has common sense. It’s just that some people don’t use it. Fortunately, you can avoid them because you can usually see them coming.

That’s not to say that everyone who gets into a pickle don’t have common sense, sometimes accidents happen. I’ve had it happen to me. One minute I was bopping along all eager to get into the Mall and the next, I’m on my knees. That curb had been there as long as the Mall, but I still managed to trip over it. If I’d just picked up my feet, it probably wouldn’t happen. Do I still drag my feet? Sometimes, yes, I still do it. The thing is, that most people don’t have issues every day if they just exercise common sense.

Life is a learning process and sometimes it takes a while for the lesson to sink in. that’s how you get on the news. Common sense notwithstanding, people often don’t think before they do things. In most cases, it turns out OK, but there are the few that end up on the news. Those are the people we say don’t have common sense. That’s wrong.

Everyone has common sense, but not everyone takes it out and exercises it. like your body, your common sense needs exercise. There’s another old saying, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” That’s just another way of saying that sometimes people don’t think before they act, or speak out. The evening news is full of them. in addition to the weather, the economy of the world and the fighting that goes on, there are the little people getting their fifteen minutes of fame through a lack of a developed common sense. Do yourself a favor and take your common sense out for a bit of exercise. You’ll thank yourself.

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Posted in General Opinion

Pierre Robert, My 7th Great Grandfather

Pierre ROBERT was my 7th great grandfather. He was born 21 September 1671 in Ste Famille, Boucherville, Chambly, Quebec, Canada. He was the son of Louis ROBERT and Marie BOURGERY. He married Angelique PTOLEMEE on 27 January 1697/98 in Lachine, Quebec, Canada. The couple had 7 children, Marie Louise, born in 1698; Jean Baptiste, born in 1700; Angelique, born between 1700 and 1710; Pierre, born about 1708; Madeleine, born in 1711; and Antoine, born in 1712.

He died 16 August 1671 most likely in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, but I have no proof of that.

I don’t have many facts on this individuals, as you can see. I have done some research online but I need to gather sources from parish records and other sources. To that end, I have done some work on this individual. I have taken a look at things others have done on this individual.

One file has his birth date as being in August. Many more have him born in September. This sort of discrepancy is what you have to watch for when you are doing family history research. There are many errors that creep into the data that is on line. You have to evaluate each piece of information as you get it. I have several pieces of the puzzle that was Pierre Robert dit Lafontaine.

As I find more information, I will have to evaluate them to determine which date or item is the correct one. That’s why it is so important to document your research. It’s why the research journal that I wrote about a few weeks ago is so important. You will need to work on your research carefully and try to figure out where your research is taking you.

In the case of Pierre Robert born in 1671, in Quebec, I have a lot of research to do. I have some resources, but they are mostly second hand sources. That means that the source is either compiled from other records, like an index of parish records, or the information did not from the person directly involved with the record, like the informant in a death record. That is, the person was not an eyewitness to the record event.

If you work on your family history, you will run into this kind of situation where you are not certain which one of several different individuals with the same name in the same location, is the person that you descend from. That’s the hard part. Whenever you find a piece of the puzzle that is your family history, you have to question it. Is it correct? Is it a record on your ancestor or is the record on an individual with the same name.

If you do that diligently, you should be able to determine whether the record belongs in your family file or not. Document everything. If you take the time to do that now, it will ultimately save you time in the end. A well documented family tree is a correct family tree.

WordPress Tags: Robert,Ste. Famille,Boucherville,Quebec,Canada,BOURGERY,PTOLEMEE,Lachine,Detroit,Wayne,Michigan,parish records,history,Lafontaine,journal,index,death,location,ancestor

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Posted in Family History, Hobbies


Several years ago, I nearly became a weather forecaster. I would have been one of those people who tell when a storm is coming, and when. Sometimes I regret not going down that path. If I had, I would know how they can say when a storm will hit. Sometimes they even state an exact time. I’m sure that’s based on wind speeds and directions, but they often make it sound as though the storm has a schedule to keep. I’ve yet to see a storm wearing a watch or carrying a clock. Usually if a storm is carrying anything, it’s best to remain indoors and under cover.

Now I hear that there is a prediction saying that we will have another Polar Vortex this year. If they could really predict something like that, why didn’t they predict the one we got last year? So I have my doubts. I’ll keep an open mind on that subject, but I am, by no means, certain that will happen. After all, they have trouble predicting the weather for next week.

This is no slam against them, weather is composed of so many factors that it is hard to corral them all and analyze them. We don’t have a computer capable of that as yet. That may come in the future but we aren’t there yet.

That’s the part that I think I would find most interesting. How can a computer model can predict something as complex as the weather. OK, I really mean how can a computer model try to predict something as complex as the weather.

I didn’t go that way because that was going to require that I join the United States Navy and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do that. In retrospect, I don’t think I was mature enough to join the Navy. They wouldn’t have wanted a child like I was at the time. Maybe it would have made me grow up sooner, I don’t know. I certainly would have been able to explain what the weather was going to do. That I regret not doing.

Weather is something that everyone has an opinion on, but what do we really know about it? Precious little, really, I suspect. Of course, since I’m not a meteorologist, I don’t know that for certain. I’m just guessing from the past track record that we are not yet able to be accurate beyond the next couple of days. I don’t believe that humans have reached the point of predicting what the weather will be beyond a few days. It just boils down to guesswork a lot of times. Weather forecasters get it wrong more often than not. They guess, but those guesses are educated ones.

The next time you are stuck off a topic of conversation, try the weather and see if you can find someone who may know a little of how it works. If you find someone, let me know. I’d like to learn how weather actually works.

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Posted in General Opinion

Feline Freedom League September 2014

From: Agent Pica To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 7 September 2014
Subject: Mission Report September 2014

I can’t help being frightened of the noise. It’s loud and scary. I just don’t like storms. I had a bad experience when I was younger and I don’t want to discuss it. Suffice to say that there have been a lot of storms recently and I confess that I took cover. Agent Trouble was no help at all. She refused to take cover. I think she’s starting to dodder. It’s only prudent to take cover from storms, you know. They can be dangerous. Agent Trouble would do well to remember that. She needn’t laugh at me for taking precautions.

The humans aren’t much better. When the lights went out and it got quiet, they left us to fend for ourselves, trapped here in this place. There was nowhere to go. They came back to rest in the night, but left again the next morning. the male left first, most likely he simply went where he always goes when he leaves that early in the morning the female packed up her magic window and left soon after. She didn’t return until after the lights and sounds came back. this place has been normal ever since, but I am unhappy with how we were abandoned. It isn’t like the time they were gone and this happened. They came back and this place was silent and dark. They were concerned, but not unduly so.

I feel that Agent Trouble could at least try to be supportive. I can’t help running for cover at the first sound of the noise that comes with the water from the sky.


From: Agent Trouble To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 7 September 2014
Subject: Mission Report September 2014

Agent Pica is frightened. That’s all there is to it. the noise doesn’t bother me and it never will. It has never hurt me before and I sincerely doubt that it ever will. That’s all there is to say about that. As for them abandoning us when this place went silent and dark, well it was easier to do some snooping. It’s always easier when they are not around.

Unfortunately, the magic screens didn’t work and this puzzles me. There is some sort of association with the storm noises and the everyday noises of this place and the lights that are always on. I haven’t quite figured out the connection yet, but I will. The noisy storms don’t always shut off the lights and sounds that normally fill this place, but they have done so. Once in a while, the lights and sounds just stop, and there is no noisy storm outside.

I confess that I am always glad I am captive when the water drops from the sky. I think it would be vastly uncomfortable to become drenched and cold outside when that happens. Agent Pica needs to get over her fear of the noises. They can’t hurt her, after all. She should realize that. That said, if ordered by headquarters, I will try to be more supportive. Just tell me how to do that and I will give it my best to follow through.

Michigan Humane Society: Somebody here needs you.

The Animal Rescue Site
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Posted in Feline Freedom League Report

Research Journals

If you are working on a long-term project and need to do research on it, it’s a good idea to have a research journal. That’s a journal where you record where you searched, what you looked for, and what you found. I have been using OneNote for my family history research journal. It’s useful in that you can add pages on the fly, which are already date and time stamped. If you are doing research online, you can capture screen shots of the data right into OneNote. However, it can get somewhat disorganized after a while. The file can also get rather large. My solution is to see if I can move the pages I created last year into Scrivener. OneNote lets you send pages to any Office product, so I will do that. I will export the text, and any images to Word. Then I will import it into Scrivener. I have been organizing my journal so that it reads better then I will begin the move to Scrivener as an archive. I will continue to use OneNote, but I think I will be better served if I just put my archived material (pages from previous years) into Scrivener, where they can be compiled into a PDF file or even just a single document. I rather think the PDF file would be best. That’s what I’m doing.

Having a research journal allows you to see where you have already searched as well as what you have. My current arrangement was by surname, which got cumbersome rather quickly. That’s when I switched to chronological. If I use the PDF format, I can create an index that will allow me to navigate the file easily. I was thinking that one file for every two years of the journal would be useful, but I will have to make that decision when I see what I have. I’m still reorganizing it.

Going forward organizing the journal chronologically is likely the best solution, although it is useful to have it by surname. What I think I will end up doing is creating a series of cross reference pages, by surname. That way I can find the information that I want quickly and easily. Compiling to PDF, I can even have that cross-reference in the OneNote file and find the volume that I want. Then I can search in there by having an index of that file as well. Active indexes will let me navigate to the information I am looking for. it might be a two-stop process, but it will be easier than searching by turning pages. It will definitely be better than duplicating my research.

A research journal can also give you an idea of places to look again for updated records. It’s a good idea to keep a journal of your research. Even if you just do the bare bones of a list of what you searched for and where you looked, it is an invaluable tool to put in your research toolbox.

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Posted in Family History, Hobbies


If you would like to keep a journal, just sit down and write for ten to fifteen minutes a day Set some time aside to do that. All you really need to do is write. I write about the weather a lot in my journal when there isn’t much else to write about. It’s not that hard if you approach it correctly. If you aren’t into writing, you won’t be keeping a journal. I’m into writing so I do that as much as I can. I look at it as an exercise, like your daily fitness workout that you do to maintain your good health. Journaling will do that for your writing skills. You can hone them in your journal.

Some people keep journals by hand. I used to do that, now I use Word on the computer. There are apps for your phone that let you journal on the go, if that’s what you need. I have one that I rarely use because I use the computer and the rest of my journal is there. so that is the gist of what I could write about. I could write about the different ways people keep their journals. Pen and paper is the most secure, because you can physically lock it up. there’s the cloud, and word processing apps for your phone and even journal apps that let you write your journal on your phone. I don’t like working with such a small screen.

So I use Word. You can use Word if you want but there are other software packages that will do the job just as well. I have considered using OneNote to hold my journal. Scrivener is another option. You create your entries in their own file, which is held by the overall program. The disadvantage of using OneNote is that if you want to print out your journal, you have to do some extra work to do so. What you would have to do is to select all the pages in the journal en export it to a pdf file. Then you can print that. With Scrivener, you can export the journal to Word, html, pdf, or even just print it straight to paper.

You can also use blogging software like LiveWriter or one of the many applications that are available for download. You could even just grab a pencil and paper. The point is not how you journal, or the tools that you use to journal. They aren’t important. What’s important is that you journal at all. All you have to do is sit down, set a timer and write. Journaling is the best form of free writing there is. Set your kitchen timer for fifteen minutes and just write. That’s really all there is to it.

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Posted in General Opinion

Profile of Susana Hubert dit Lacroix

Susana HUBERT dit LACROIX was my sixth great grandmother. She was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 9 August 1709. She was the daughter of Louis HUBERT dit LACROIX and Magdelene TR0TIER. She married Pierre REAUME on 20 January 1737 or 1738. The couple had one child, my fifth great grandmother, Marie Louise REAUME, born in 1749/50.

That’s it. That’s all I know about her. This is one of my ancestors that I clearly need to do more research in order to profile. She is included in this series because she fit the criteria that I used to choose the ancestors I would profile, namely that she is born on or near the date that this blog is published. How do I handle this? I have names. I have the computer. I will do some research at into her. I also have access to so I will try looking there for her. Another good source of information is, but I no longer have the subscription for that website. I will need to do some creative searching.

There is a Canadian archive website that I can search. It’s at this address: It’s not as easy to search here, as I will need to use finding aids to locate the microfilms that I will need and to get them through interlibrary loan. Yes, the Canadian archives will do interlibrary loans to a US library. the catch is that I will have to do the research at my local library. it beats driving to the archives in Ottawa, Canada, although that is also an option.

That said, there are some records that have been digitized and made available through this website. However, they do not really cover the time that Susana lived. My preferred method of research of a site like this one is to simply try looking up the surname of the subject of my investigation. You either get something or you don’t, but it’s important to try because record availability changes often. In this case, I got five hits. one mentions Susana’s father by name. the record is older than she is, but it is still valuable since it could hold information about her father. Therefore, I collect it and add it to the research gleaned for him. it’s a record of a sale to another person, something that involved L’hotel Dieu. I placed that record hit into my research journal along with the website and keywords that I searched. That will enable me to find the record again, should I need it.

Now something else I noticed while doing that – the surname Adhemar. Adhemar was a notarie, someone who would have been involved in the sale. I have some microfiche with some of his acts on them. This gives me the option to search that as well and see what I can learn. So the internet search gives me two options. I can request a reproduction of this record and I can see if I already have it. I’ll do the latter first. I’ll keep you posted.

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Posted in Family History, Hobbies

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