Monday, January 30, 2012

RootsTech - Why I'm Not There

And, why I'm sorry I'm not there.  (I should have listened to Amy.)

When I looked at the topics, and listened to others talk, I felt that I didn't even have the vocabulary to understand the presentations at RootsTech.  I didn't even understand some of the titles of the presentations.  After all, I don't know the difference between a tablet, an Ipod, an Ipad, a notebook or a droid and Android, a smart phone and IPhone and a blackberry, or apps.  After all, I just learned how to use a digital camera 1 1/2 years ago, right before FGS in Knoxville in 2010.  My phone doesn't take photos.  I don't know how to send text messages.  And I keep forgetting how to even get messages for the few times someone calls me while my phone is off.  I do have a facebook account, but it is basically so that I can see photos of my grandchildren; find out what activities my nieces and nephews are doing; and finding out where my sister is traveling on business.  I don't tweet.   I tried google+ but haven't figured out how to actually get factual stuff rather than just someone's personal info. 

And while this blog is 7 months old, I don't know how to even make some changes in the template (like background color and title colors) and I'm afraid to start over.  I also haven't been able to figure out how to sort the blogs that I follow, since my list is really getting too long for a 3 to 4 times a week look.  (It's overwhelming and I regularly consider just taking almost all of them out of reader.) 

So, with this lack of knowledge, how could I possible understand the stuff being presented at RootsTech?  Why should I spend the money to attend a conference and be overwhelmed by all of you who are familiar with this stuff? 

So, why am I sorry I'm not there?

Well, I was able to download the syllabus.  Of course, I don't know what to do know because it seems like each one is in pdf and word.  So, which do I keep?  One or both? 

BUT, the biggest positive is that I actually understand most of the words in the syllabus.  (At least for those sessions I've looked at so far.)  Some of them are actually very similar to sessions that I've attended before at other conferences.  Could I have benefited from attending?  Yes.  Will I consider going in 2013?  Yes.  (Except that NGS is in Las Vegas and that's close and I want to attend and encourage Arizona researchers to try a large conference.  Then there is FGS in Fort Wayne.  Who can resist researching there especially when flying that distance?)  With those two and Jamboree, can I really manage FOUR conferences in one year? 

So, I'm going to try to listen to the RootsTech sessions that are going to be streamed by RootsTech.  (Those in Room 155, I believe.)  I need to figure out if I can listened to them at some other time, because, unfortunately, sometimes life interferes with genealogy. (Too often, sometimes!)  And, then I have a list of other sessions that I understand are also going to be streamed.  I still need to get all of the info about those and how to access them. 

Therefore, I'm going to be busy the next 2 days.  Perhaps not as busy as those of you who are traveling to Salt Lake City.  But I do know that I won't be waiting in airports trying to remember if all of my liquids and gels are in small enough containers.  I won't be walking in the rain or snow;  after all I'm in the Phoenix area.  And, while I won't learn as much as I probably would if I were there, perhaps I'll be able to understand enough to gain the knowledge to attend next year, or the year after. 

Have a great time!! To all of you who are there.  I hope you share thoughts with all of us who are not there.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Expo - Mesa and Family History Society of Arizona (Day 2)

Well, this is really day 3 (no Expo, just recovering).  We had about 300 people pick up flyers in the two days.  I saw lots of FHSA members as well as talked with some researchers who would like to have chapters in their areas:  Cave Creek, Apache Junction and Gilbert.  I'll see what I can do to help them form chapters. 

So many people found out that Lisa Louise Cooke is coming in March and picked up information.  They either heard her talk at Expo or heard someone else talk about her presentations.  I just know that our Seminar will be great.  For those who would like to attend, the registration form is at  We'd love to see you.

I met a couple of new bloggers;  I saw a couple of researchers who were in my Tempe Parks and Rec classes; I saw a few more who had attended sessions at one of the libraries.  It's nice to see these fairly new researchers enjoying the benefits of a wide variety of presentations.  And, without traveling across the country.  Arizona is a fairly large state and there were genealogists from Flagstaff, Prescott, Springerville, Benson, Yuma, Tucson, Green Valley, Parker and probably every place in between.  (If you aren't familiar with Arizona geography, Benson is SE, Yuma is SW, Parker is sort of NW, Springerville is sort of NE, etc., etc.  And, while many consider Flagstaff at the northern border, there are still miles of land north before you actually cross out of Arizona.)

So thank you to all who stopped by, visited with me, shared stories while sessions were going on, etc. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Expo - Mesa & Family History Society of Arizona

I had a great day at the Family History Expo in Mesa.  I spent the day in the book for the Family History Society of Arizona.  I met so many great people.  And some came by more than once just to "chat."  I gave some of them names of free web sites (like familysearch, rootsweb and heritage quest).  I waved at many others that I knew.  I "met" Byron again.  We talked last year; he joined FHSA; I saw him at FGS in Springfield in August 2011; and now he's presenting.  That was really great to hear.

I was going to have dinner during one of the late afternoon sessions.  I ended up not eating until almost 7 because 1-3 people were at the booth continuously from about 4:30 to 6:40.  Isn't that great?  And I certainly wasn't going to get up and say, "Excuse me, but I want to eat instead of talking with you about genealogy and FHSA." 

Mary Lu came by between sessions a couple of times and really helped out, answering questions and visiting with some researchers while I visited with others.  Thank you Mary Lu.

Well, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I know it will be great.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Who Do You Think You Are

This information is for those of you who haven't heard the news yet.  Save Friday nights beginning February 3.
 This paragraph is from  See this site for the complete details.

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.-- January 6, 2012-- Viewers can take an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities when NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" returns for its third season on Friday, February 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). The celebrities who star in the series are Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rose Parade - A New Year's Tradition

I just finished watching the Rose Parade for the upteenth year.  Being brought up in Southern California we always watched the Rose Parade and usually had a choice of 4-6 TV stations.  Sometimes we even went to see the floats while they were being decorated.

Then, I went to Cal Poly Pomona.  The second day of freshman orientation someone walked through the dorm and asked if anyone could type.  Well, I could.  I was drafted to type something for the Cal Poly Rose Float Committee.  I was hooked!!! Big TIME!!!  I learned to arc weld and then spent almost every day and evening from Christmas Day to New Year's Eve working on the float.  Committee members had white coveralls, like painter's coveralls, and we had a Cal Poly Rose Float Patch that we sewed to the back.  I kept those coveralls for years.  And, I may even have the patch someplace, in some box.  (I need to look for it.)

Then, after the decorating, that year and the next few years, until my husband Walt graduated from Cal Poly and we moved to Connecticut, we would spend New Year's Eve camped out on Colorado Boulevard.  That was the best way of getting a front row seat for the parade, as well as parking fairly near our street site.

So, it doesn't seem like New Year's Day until after the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game, whether they are held on January 1 or 2.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.