Monday, May 30, 2016

Banged Up

They say bad luck comes in threes. Well I recently collected all three so I'm hoping I'm in for another stretch of good luck.

The first incident happened about a month ago while my wife and I were in the urban jungle for different reasons. She was there shopping and I was there for a conference. My conference was ending and I was on my way to meet my wife at a favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant we used to frequent back when we had an apartment there. She had gotten there first only to find it closed for renovations so she had backed out, shifted to drive and was about ready to press the gas when she was hit from behind. The older lady had been making an illegal turn across three lanes of traffic to get an angled parking spot in the opposite direction and misjudged and hit my wife's new (last summer) car. Fortunately everyone was okay but it did $1000 worth of damage. Despite having plenty of pictures to document the scene that I took after arriving about five minutes after it happened, the insurance company couldn't find the lady 100% at fault since my wife had been backing out of a parking spot and it was just our word that she had the engine in drive. They found the other party 80% at fault which meant we have to pay $200 to get my wife's car repaired. It is in the shop as you read this.

Two weeks ago, I was driving across town in our other van and just missed a green light at a major intersection. I sat and waited for several minutes until the other lanes cycled and my light turned green. I looked both ways and proceeded to enter the intersection when wham, suddenly a car was in front of me and we hit fairly hard. My first thought driving a Honda was thank goodness the airbag didn't deploy because even though it hasn't been recalled yet, it may be one of the defective ones killing people. I wasn't sure where she had been coming from but thanks to a witness that stopped, I later found out that she had been in the turn lane going the opposite direction I had been going on a four lane divided highway. I'm guessing I didn't "see" her is because she blended in with the traffic heading in the opposite direction that had a green light for probably 30 seconds before my lanes turned green to allow people to turn. When her turn light had gone from green to flashing yellow meaning she had to yield, she didn't and the collision occurred. Fortunately the witness collaborated my part of the story and there turned out to be a traffic camera at that intersection which also collaborated the incident so the lady was issued a citation for failure to yield and I'm assuming there is no way this once will turn out to be any percentage my fault. Fortunately it is still drive-able though with one headlight destroyed, I wouldn't drive it at night or two far in case the bumper hanging on by a thread falls off.

So now the third thing which is tied in with the second accident. I felt fine in the minutes after the accident but as I was driving home I started feeling a knot at the base of my neck and nauseous. Fortunately I was almost home so I just continued onward and made it safely home. My neck started hurting more and I started getting a headache and feeling pressure behind eyes so I suspected that I perhaps sustained a concussion though I didn't think the impact was hard enough. Perhaps my brain slamming into my skull was affecting how hard I remembered the impact. My wife being a doctor was the first person I called and she got me slipped into the system and a half hour later I was getting x-rays to make sure my spine wasn't damaged. It wasn't. The next morning I got in to see a NP since my doctor was out of town to verify that I had indeed sustained a concussion from whiplash but was most likely going to live. Good news! Now all you readers won't be wondering for the next three months why I haven't been posting.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Murder Solved!

Just a day ago real time, two in blogiverse, I was writing about the above boilerplate article that I found several years ago using a website called I was never able to confirm or deny whether this Joseph Baker who died in 1882 was the same as my third great grandfather Joseph Baker who also died in 1882. That is until now.

The following morning after typing up the previous blog post, I found myself logged into again now that I could. Much of the time I have searched for news on Joseph Baker, I get thousands of results for churches named St. Joseph and ads from the local bakery, not to mention, Joseph and Baker were common names and surname. Sifting through thousands of hits gets tedious.

This time however, I typed in George Dyne and the first thing that popped up was the Joseph Becker murder. After a quick slap to the forehead and realizing that it has been a typo all along, I did a quick search on Ancestry and indeed pulled up a death record for one Joseph Becker in Chicago during the summer of 1882. So I can rule out that my Joseph Baker was murdered... at least at the hands of George Dyne and focus on other avenues to discover how in fact he died.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Janesville Daily Gazette - Janesville, Wisconsin - 14 Oct 1881

I recently realized that my subscription to which I use for my genealogical research, came with some new perks. One of those was to a military site called Fold3 and another was to which as its name suggests, is a large archive of historical newspapers. Back when I was actively searching for ancestors, I had a separate subscription to NewspaperArchive (a competitor) but I let it several years ago because I just hadn't put in the time to make it worth the money.

Since was now included in my subscription, I decided to log in and take a peak to see if anything new popped up. My go to search was for information on my elusive ancestor Joseph Chicken Baker. The quick run down is that Joseph Chicken married right after the Civil War and changed his name to Joseph Baker for reasons unknown to me. To complicate things, he died in 1882 at the age of 35 for reasons unknown to me. Someday, I would love to know the reasons behind both of those events.

I've searched high and low for notifications of Joseph's death but have been unable to find anything conclusive. Years ago when I had a subscription to NewspaperArchive, I turned up the article below in several Iowa newspapers in 1882.

Despite my searches, I've never figured out who George Dyne was and if the Joseph Baker he murdered was my Joseph Baker. I've also never found out anymore about the murder. Although this little splurb was found in a local newspaper in Iowa near where Joseph lived with his family at the time, it was what was called a boilerplate article of news from around the nation that newspapers used to fill us column space. It most likely had nothing to do with my Joseph Baker who was a poor dirt farmer and had no real reason to travel to Chicago. I have never ruled this out but I find it unlikely.

Part of my searching has always had me search in the preceding and proceeding years of Joseph's death in case he died near them. His gravestone below doesn't list a death month or day, only the year, 1882. So when I typed in the search criteria into and got a hit I hadn't seen before, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't on a Joseph Baker that died but one that had been "dangerously injured" in mid October of the year preceding 1882. Could he have been injured and succumbed to his injuries a few months later?

Perhaps most intriguing was that the Joseph Baker in the article at the head of this post was working for the Forepaugh Circus of which I am pretty familiar with because I am currently reading a book about Topsy the elephant and the history of the circus here in the states with lots of pages covering the Forepaugh Circus as well as the Barnum Circus. Perfect timing. 

The book mentions that there were many accidents with the circus trains but doesn't list them all out nor any of the people hurt or killed in them. I have tried googling and searching for the fate of this Joseph Baker and perhaps information tying him to my family but have turned up nothing more on the subject. Like the Joseph Baker killed in Chicago, I think the odds are against this being my ancestor but I haven't ruled it out either one way or another. It certainly is intriguing.

Grave of my 3rd great grandfather Joseph Chicken Baker

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dinner Party

We did it! For those out of the loop or have forgotten, we were invited to join a group of people in our community to hold a formal gourmet dinner party every couple months rotating through the group. When we were formally voted into the group, we panicked because like so many modern couples, we weren't gifted or even asked for fine china as a wedding gift. We were happy just getting a toaster and some pottery. So we did some shopping for china which you can now see in these pictures.

Also on our list was a reasonable set of formal silverware for which I built a customized silver chest for awhile back and showed on this blog to make it appear much more expensive than it was. I also featured a dining table extension I built to expand our already expanded table (with the extra leaf) out to comfortably seat ten adults. Not talked about were the chairs. We had a set of six and four folding chairs and looked to remedy that. I checked out some garage sales and scanned auction notices but with our schedules, nothing ever worked out. In the end, I stopped in at a local Amish wood shop and had them make some chairs similar to our current ones but shorter for about half the price of new in the local furniture store. We ended up with four more chairs in short.

Since we were the hosts and this was a FORMAL party, I didn't get a chance to sneak out my camera to take pictures of the meal we served so I will just have to describe it to you. We went with a Filipino meal since none of the other guests had ever eaten one. For the appetizer, I grilled a filipino version of BBQ which involved pork loin sliced thin and marinated with a lot of soy sauce, garlic, pineapple and assorted things before being woven onto a bamboo stick and grilled. It was served with picked green papaya. For the 'salad' course, we went with a fresh lumpia which is sliced veggies wrapped in an unfried wrapper and served with a sweet sauce drizzled over it and garnished with crushed peanuts. It was by far the classiest looking of all our dishes. For the soup we served Sinigang which is a fish soup with bok choy and tomatoes in a sour broth. By Filipino custom, it is served as it without bread. For the entree, we served curry curry along side rice. This had bits of pork baby back rib meat and filipino beans served with a peanut based sauce. Finally for desert, we had leche flan which is a custard like desert with glutenous rice topped with mango balls served with coffee.

Normally these parties are themed and every couple is asked to bring a particular dish but since this was our first time hosting and it was a theme out of the wheelhouse of the other couples, we did it all. This meant a lot of work for us. With all the cleaning, shopping, preparations and cooking, I'm guessing we both sunk somewhere around 50 hours into this event but it went off without a hitch and I don't think we will be voted out of the club. As we were hand washing dishes late into the early morning hours, we decided our next theme will be British since my wife spent several years there when we were dating. Hopefully we will have about a year before it is our turn again.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Too Good To Be True

After that last post, I was pretty pumped to have saved myself a bunch of money by fixing my mother-in-law's phone. When it had charged up completely, I set it aside and waited for her to return from Washington D.C. to switch her back over again. When the time arrived, I picked up her fixed phone and went downstairs to the office but noticed that her phone battery was almost dead after sitting idle for two days. Not good.

I plugged it in again to the charger and it wouldn't charge anymore. I reset the thing two times and finally it started charging properly but I knew that it wasn't quite fixed yet. Since a lot of people talked about replacing the charging port along with the battery to fix their phones, I suspected the charging port needed to be replaced and I had ordered one anyway with the battery. I hadn't changed it the first go around because it involved COMPLETELY taking apart the phone.

I got my tools and completely took apart the phone and replaced the charging port. However, the charging port has two cables that stick to pads on the motherboard with some sort of adhesive and mine when taken apart didn't look like add the videos. I'm not sure if part of the motherboard came off or adhesive was left behind. Anyway, I put it all back together and turned it on and the phone failed to respond. I tossed it on the shelf for now and haven't revisited it yet. I may sometime but my mother-in-law seems to be getting along fine with the old phone so there is no hurry.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Not For the Faint Hearted

While coming back from a trip down to the family farm one particularly rainy day, I pulled into my driveway and spied what I thought was a cell phone laying in the middle of our driveway. I jokingly said to the others that there looks to be a cell phone lying in our driveway in the middle of the pouring rain not thinking it would be one of ours. That is when my mother-in-law exclaimed that she had been missing hers all day. 

When our mother-in-law first joined our family here in America, we gave her one of our old cell phones and she has been using it since. However, her eyesight is not the best and she really has to squint and hold the small screen close to see what's going on so as a Christmas gift to her, we bought one of those really large screened and really expensive phones for her. It lasted just shy of five months.

I say lasted because she immediately raced inside and plugged it into the charger. The phone lit up and then immediately turned off never to light up again. My wife and my mother-in-law were leaving for Washington D.C. the very next morning so there wasn't really anything to do but swap her back to her old phone and toss this one on the office desk. There it sat for a number of days before I picked it up and pressed the on button. Amazingly it lit up but the battery would flash 0% charge for a few seconds before it would turn off.

So I turned to the computer and googled replacing Samsung batteries and wouldn't you know, the internet was full of videos and tutorials of people who have done the same thing. A battery could be bought for about $12 and for good measure, I also got a charging port for another $13 including a tool kit for working on the phone. I figured for $25 outlay of cash for a chance of getting a $500+ phone working again was a risk I was willing to take.

The first step is to remove the back cover which is made of glass and glued onto the phone. The tutorials said to heat the phone up to loosen the glue and then carefully pry off the glass being careful not to break it. Well I broke it. Once broke, I didn't have to be careful and simply pulled the thing off and discarded.

After removing a pile of screws, I removed the frame around all the circuitry that was also covering up most of the battery. After that it was a simple procedure to pop the old battery out, put a new battery in and reverse my assembly steps. I was going to replace the charging port but in order to do that, I was going to have to remove every single board from inside the phone all connected by these tiny leads and antennae and I didn't want to do that unless I had too. When I pressed the on button and the phone powered up to life, I knew I wouldn't have too anyway. So for $25 initial outlay plus another $7 for a new glass back with adhesive that is now somewhere on its way to my door, I was able to salvage a very expensive phone to live another day.

While I was transferring service from the then still broken phone to one of our old phones so my mother-in-law would have something with her on her trip out east, the man on the phone asked me why I was transferring the number from such a nice phone to an old one. I told him the new one had been destroyed to which he asked if I wanted to buy another one to replace it. I told him that I wasn't interested at this time and he made a comment about waiting a bit to teach our kids a lesson about leaving phones in the rain. I responded it was my mother-in-law's phone so my hands were tied about lesson giving. He chuckled. Seriously though I hoped she did learn a lesson from all this.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Five Days Earlier

Mont-Blanc Explosion - Halifax
On 6 December, 1917 a French vessel named S.S. Mont-Blanc was leaving Halifax harbor with a load of high explosives bound for France. It collided with the S.S. Imo, a Norwegian ship, in the narrows of the bay catching fire and ultimately exploding. Around 2000 people in the area were killed and another 9000 were injured from flying debris. Nearly all the structures in a half mile radius disappeared, including the entire town of Richmond.

Five days later, my great grandfather on his way to France to fight in World War I, docked there aboard the R.M.S. Tunisian. He saw relief parties still digging among the snow and ice left from a blizzard still trying to rescue survivors. Many soldiers offered to go ashore and help search but their offers were denied since the convoy of boats was subject to leave at anytime. For two days until they left, the men could only watch. Also in the convoy of boats was the S.S. Tuscania which would be torpedoed two months later by German UB-77 sending 210 soldiers to their deaths.

In a letter home from France, my great grandfather would write, "I hope I may never see such a devastated-looking place again."

My Great Grandfather

Friday, May 13, 2016

Love Letters

After leisurely savoring the saved letters of people who wrote my great Uncle during the war, I finally got to the small stack of letters from the lady who would become his wife after the war. Disappointingly, only three of the letters actually contained letters and the rest were simply empty envelopes, their contents lost to time. But the three letters that remained, vastly filled in the spaces I have of who my great uncles wife was.

At the time of the letters, my great uncle was 20 years old and serving on the U.S.S. Iowa battleship in the Pacific fighting the Japanese. Roma, his future wife was 26 years old and transitioning from her family farm to a job in Colorado. From the tone of the first letter she wrote back, it was obvious that my great uncle had an infatuation with her for she kept saying things like 'your secret is safe with me' and signing it 'confidentially yours.' Roma was obviously flattered that of all the mail he wrote to those back in the States, he found time to write to her.

Great confusion runs in my family over Keith's love of Roma. She was a 'cripple' as my my grandfather and Keith's younger brother would say. From her pictures, she was small, hunched and deformed so I'm guessing it was a disease of the spine. Eventually it killed her because she and my great uncle were only married for six years before her death. After reading the letters she wrote, I now know they shared a lot in common. Both obviously loved the arts and both wrote extensively about what music was popular, movies, plays and musicals they had recently seen, etc. On a side note for those newer to this blog, my great uncle collected the top 5 songs in the nation according to ratings from before the war to his death a few years ago. It was a massive collection of records, tapes and CD's, the likes of which I have never seen elsewhere.

Although my great great grandmother who also wrote to Keith never mentioned Roma by name, she must have known of her. In several of her numerous letters she would stress that "a married life is a long one and a single life goes by fast." She urged my great uncle to take his time and not be in a rush. I don't know if I am simply reading to far into things or perhaps my great uncles family thought that he could do better than to marry a 'crippled' lady.

But get married after the war they did and after Roma's death, my uncle would be active in community theaters and he always had seen all the latest movies when I asked about them as a kid. He never did remarry nor have children and I think a lot of that had to do with his deep love for Roma. Before I was born and many years after Roma's death, my great Uncle Keith would have some sort of huge mental breakdown that got him sent to a psych home for a stint that may or may not have included electrode therapy according to family lore. Looking back through modern eyes, perhaps he had some sort of PTSD from the war and her death. I was fortunate to know my great Uncle for nearly four decades before his death and he never seemed crazy to me. All I could 'see' was devotion as I carried his casket to the plot right next to his wife Roma.

Along with the letters, I found a new picture I hadn't seen before. I had two pictures of my great uncle Keith and his wife Roma on their wedding day but always by themselves and outside the church. Below, this picture shows them inside the church standing with my great grandparents on the right and Roma's parents on the left. I was fortunate to know both of my great grandparents and have found memories of both of them. Looking at the photo, I'm not sure my great uncle Keith's family was happy over the marriage but it definitely looks like they were supportive of his decision on the day of the wedding.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

War Letters

While down on the farm hunting morels, my mom gave me a sack full of family history stuff. Neither of us really have a good place for it other than to put them on a shelf somewhere but she knew that I would enjoy looking through them and perhaps more importantly, would scan the stuff into the computer where it can be backed up and and preserved. Among the items were originals of pictures I have posted in prior blog posts as well as a stack of letters I had never seen before.

My great uncle whom passed away several years ago was a World War II Navy vet. I've blogged about him a number of times over the years, the last being a year and a half ago when I had some records he made during the war digitally restored. He was a prolific writer during his lifetime and also a hoarder which is why it really wasn't a surprise that he saved most if not all the letters written to him while he served during World War II.

About a half dozen of the saved letters were from his wife which I haven't read yet. She is kind of a mystery to me since she died young after only six years of marriage and a couple decades before I was even born. Even my grandparents (his brother) or my parents (his niece) know little about her. Since I hope reading those letters will reveal much about her other than her name that I know, I am saving those for last.

Before them, are a large stack of letters from my great great grandmother Nettie to her grandson (my great uncle) during his years in the war. One at a time, I scan them into my computer, save them and then read them before moving onto the next. Not being familiar with how these letters and envelopes work, I wasn't sure why the letters were so tiny and appeared to be copies of originals written on a larger (normal) scale. When I googled them, Wikipedia told me the reason. In order to save weight and processing, all V-mail letters were scanned onto microfilm after being censored and then shipped overseas still as film to reduce space. Once at their destination, they were blown up only to 60% (perhaps to save paper) which made it very hard to read without a magnifying glass which is why I waited until I got them scanned in and scaled up to make for easier reading.

I really enjoy reading about my great great grandparents daily lives which is mostly what they wrote about. I have to spend time here and there to see just exactly who Cousin Bob is or how Willie who caught scarlet fever is related. It really fleshes out a story up until this time I only knew the bare bones. Although I'm looking forward to getting to the letters of my great uncle's wife, I'm not looking forward to not having anymore letters left in my pile to scan into the computer and read.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Rat's Take On Politics

Desert Rat here!

My alter ego Ed likes to think he knows the political process. Earlier this year he was filling up blogging space on how Rubio was in a great position to win the GOP nomination and how Trump didn't stand a chance. We all now know how that went.

It looks like people want to choose between a someone who has flip flopped on issues more times during the primary season than John Kerry did during his entire political career and another who has flip flopped with the best of them as a career. I guess that means no matter what happens, we are going to get a flip flopper for president. Perhaps that means we will finally get a flip flop flash mob in the Whitehouse.

I guess we've had an actor before in the Whitehouse so a realty television star or a soap opera star wouldn't be really ground breaking. Perhaps a president Trump could fire Putin for his lack of teamwork or a president Clinton could send him a secure classified email saying the same thing. Either way it would be interesting to watch and watch we will.

We rats live in the cheap seats out here in the middle of this country. Power corrupts absolutely so all politicians are corrupt. So we here in the middle of the political spectrum and country, will simply watch it all unfold as the corrupt politicians on the coast do what they do best. If Trump gets the Shah worked up enough to launch a nuke because he is Muslim, I'm pretty sure he will be aiming for a coast and not here. If Clinton says to trust her and someone out there actually does, hell will freeze over but I'm fairly certain hell is on one of our coasts and thus won't really affect us much here in the middle. Perhaps it will all be tempered when we Feel the Bern!

Perhaps the best thing that will come from all this is that after the new president is elected and our whole country is screwed up that we will collectively come to our senses and realize that perhaps putting CSPAN coverage on prime time will be the next American Idle ratings getter the Fox producers have been looking for. I'm fairly certain that Simon Cowell would come back and say it as it is. He might say Donald's hair makes the old version of Biff from Back to the Future II look downright coiffed or that Hillary makes Pinocchio seem like the Abraham Lincoln of honesty.

As a rat, I don't get to vote and may get thrown out of the country because I don't have citizenship. I think I am just going to lay low and hope some third party candidate comes along that I like. I have a cousin who used to pull hairs behind the scenes to make a great pot of stew or ratatouille as I think he calls it. Perhaps he would run for president and Disney could make a movie about it. Oh they already have, it was called the Muppets.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Home Alone

I went to Washington DC as a teenage for a band trip in high school. I have memories of touring the Whitehouse, the Smithsonian, Ford's Theater and seeing the sites along the mall. I also have memories of horrible traffic and wandering forever on the streets trying to find the Smithsonian. So when my wife told me that her conference was going to be in Washington DC this year and her mother seemed like she would be interested in going, I declined and stayed home with the kids. However as I was helping my wife do some last minute planning earlier this week, and saw that her hotel was within blocks of all these sites, I instantly regretted my decision.

On the plus side, I get to spend a week with just me and the girls doing whatever we do best. My brother and his oldest daughter are up for a week and mushroom season was just wrapping up. So there were definitely advantages to staying home. Mushroom season wasn't quite a bust this year but almost. Earlier at the start of the season, it was just too dry and gray morels were few and far between, so far that I didn't find a single one though I saw a couple pictures on the internet. Finally we got three or four days of moisture in a row but the temperatures were only in the 50's, too cold for the yellow morels to pop. Finally, still raining the temperatures got up into the mid 60's which is still too cold for a bumper crop of mushroom but enough to allow a few to pop here and there. We ended up with enough for a small mess of mushrooms for lunch one day and that was it. But as I am quick to say, a few morel mushrooms is better than no morel mushrooms.

Another plus to opting out of the Washington DC trip is that I have an inside scoop on where her next conference is and it is in a state I have never been too surrounded by warm Pacific waters on all sides and a long plane ride from here. Best of all, it will be in the throws of winter next January. Yes, I think that is the one I will go too!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

At a Loss For Words

As far as this blog is concerned, I'm finished with this project. I have to tack up the trim and do some touchup painting, stuff that nobody really cares about so I'm declaring this project done. Despite my error in calculation, the remaining two sets of doors on the end went well. I had to move them towards the wall so they are not centered in their openings due to bigger hinges and too much of an overlap, but it isn't noticeable until you get your tape measure out and measure them from the inside.

I still want to build some sort of desktop desk organizer for those things that I use quite frequently while paying bills. Stuff that I don't necessarily want to have to scoot over and get out of a desk drawer. I'm thinking something that lifts the monitor up a couple inches perhaps and has spots underneath.

Originally I was going to put some sort of crown molding on the Murphy bed unit to disguise the plug in for the lights a bit but I don't think I will anymore. My wife is anxious now that I've taken pictures to start moving things in from underneath the stairs where we store office supplies currently. She has been working the last couple evenings with a tape measure and a step stool taking stock of things and perhaps searching for some sort of shelf organizers for the bookcase.

Finally, the title of this post, 'At a Loss For Words' doesn't refer to this post but for future posts. I'm not sure what I blogged about before I gutted this room after Thanksgiving last year. I'm sure I'll find something to blather on about, I always do, but right now I haven't a clue what I will blog about next. We'll see.

Monday, May 2, 2016

I Have a Dream...

...I love maps and have always wanted a map room. For years, I have thought about buying one of those display cases you see in schools for class pictures or sometimes in businesses that sell posters. They essentially have glassed in frames of posters/pictures that one can flip through and were generally double sided so if you had a dozen frames, you could display a two dozen things. As I let that idea mature and mellow in my head, I now think it would take too much space and be too awkward to spend much time looking at maps, my true love. I have moved onto a different method.

I'm not sure what it is about maps I enjoy. When I look at them I see places I've been and ponder about places I haven't visited. I think as a work of art, some of them are beautiful in their own right. Historical maps especially interest me to see how or where things were in places I'm familiar with. I could and have sat down with an atlas and just perused it like I would a good non-fiction book.

So as I have been pondering during my hours of rebuilding this dank hole of a room into the beautiful office/spare bedroom it is becoming, I have an idea. Although I have hung a Jackson Pollock replica created by my kids in the area above the Murphy bed, it will be largely hidden unless guests are here. We may change that in the future since we have fallen in love with it but I digress. I think I would like to hang pictures of historical maps of beauty around the rest of the room. This is where I'm hoping you the reader might come in by pointing me in the direction of some maps you find particularly beautiful.

I have read a lot of books on exploration of our planet, oceans and continents and maps of those travels particularly interest me. I will most likely put a map or two of areas that I have been too and know well but I am open to places I've never been before. I am open to purchase said maps or find high resolution pictures of them if they aren't copyrighted which most historical maps aren't. If I find the latter, I will print them off. With some of the scraps of materials I have left over, I plan to make a half dozen or more frames to display these maps on my office walls and give me hours of enjoyment as I gaze at their squiggly lines. (I am not apposed to straight lines either!)

So if something comes to mind, even if just suggestions of terms to search by online, I'm interested. Drop a comment or shoot me an email. Many thanks!