Genealogy Records – What should go in them?

I have read several articles on this subject. Some are consistent to a point while others stray.  I also know that most of us wish to hide certain facts or truths that occurred or not.  Perhaps, there is something that we do that we rather not have our peers know about us.

In my own opinion, the facts that should be kept and recorded or events that took place. Old elementary school records with class photos that our housed safely. Granted most of us may not have that glamor photo in elementary school, yet it was taken and is part of our history some -know not how to laugh at themselves.

WWII, Korean conflictAny and all obituary records, stories that were written down, service records and photos if they are available. I must admit doing my research on my family, most photos are hard to come by let alone finding a living relative that would part with them for a while to have them copied. Digital copies are the norm today, but there is something about the old film photos that you hold in your hand.World war II 1945

For example, I have this photo of my Dad who is on the left with a brunette sitting on his lap, I also have a newspaper clipping that mentioned his name, the ship’s name, the area that he was from and describing where the Carrier was during this time period. They go together.

Navy Muster RollI might also want to put my Dads Muster Roll along with this if I were making a Genealogical photo album. I highlighted the area in red on the Muster Roll displaying my Dad’s record and I was able to collect information that he was promoted to Seaman Second Class during this time frame.

Stories are hard for some yet they don’t have to be lengthy tell all kind of story either. For instance, I could rattle on and on because I know a great deal about this man, not all mind you-but enough, but that would be information overload. So, instead of putting everything down, (granted you will want everything that can be remembered for your own records for your family), but for a Blog, a general family history that is shared to the world, you would not want to overload the viewer.

For my Dad, I would simply put this. Antonio Jesus Rios born to Cresencia Reza and Jesus Rios, born on June 13, 1926 in Farmersville, Texas. Joined the Army, lied about his age to be with his friend and was kicked out. Later joined the Navy. moved up the ranks and spent 12 years serving his country. He was a lady’s man and has 8 known children. After the navy, he drove tractor trailers for a living, taking the summers off to raise his three boys (me and my brothers).

There is a short paragraph that highlights key elements, we got his parents, he tried to join the army to be with his friend but was later on kicked out. We got joining the Navy, spent twelve years in the service-moved up the ranks, he was a seasonal truck driver so that he could be with his kids during the summers. Then we have the reference of lady’s man which depicts a person that liked the female persuasion and got around. We get the good and a little bad.

So here is my 8th grade grad pic. I am the sexy one!

Maxwell California 8th grade graduation

Update on program I am writing

Since, I last posted for the post “The waiting game” I am still waiting to get a response back from the person I believe to be my sister living in Carson City, NV. I have not got the dreaded return letter, so that is good news. The bad news, we got hail today in South Dakota, just glad it did not last long.

So in the mean time, I keep busy on the program I am writing in Visual Basic and am making progress on that.

Genealogy program for images
Genealogy Program in concept

Right now, the program can write on the bottom portion of the image to add text.

Add text to the bottom portion of image.

Mirror image the photo.

Am able to flip the image over to add text to it the back side. Similar to holding a physical photo in your hand and flipping it over to see the backside.

The font, as long as using truetype fonts, can be changed to ones liking and the font color can be changed as well. I did notice that on certain photos that were not at a 96 DPI would not except the text the correct way when adding the text at the bottom portion of the image, so had to figure that out and is why at the bottom right hand side of the program there is a function to correct that problem.

So, while I wait to get a response this is what I have been upto.

Program to add text to an image -Genealogy program

Image pasted into a picturebox
Image from Web

It has been a while since I posted. I have been pre-occupied writing a program to add text to an image. I would regularly use Microsoft Word for this kind of task, but I found myself becoming  frustrated trying to accomplish what I wanted it do to -mainly the formating. So, I started writing a program that would take an image from the Web. For instance, on Ancestry there are several photos of my Cousins. I would save them to the my computer, then add the text in Word. Next, I would have to format the image, add the text, highlight all text etc…

The program I wrote will even open a photo from the hard drive and add text to it in one shot. Stress Free solution.

The program allows the user to change the font color from black, red or blue depending on the situation.  This is done by the radio buttons I programed.

Family Christmas
Loreto Family Christmas

I do not need to highlight the text, then select the color like I did in Word -the program does it in one shot. The above example is showing red text,

where I grabbed an image from my cousin’s family tree. The next photo is using black text which is of my Loreto family first and second cousins during Christmas. The one real cool feature is that when you enter the text and have the font color selected, you add the text to the image, but then you realize you forgot to add more text. I have tested this several times and all you need to do is type the extra words and click the add text button again. Presto, just the way you wanted it..

I still have some more to add to it but the text to image is done.  Here are some more examples: Let me know what you think.

Tigers
Image from Web with red text

 

Woman in fields
Image from Har drive

Repurpose items laying around.

A gloomy day today and waiting for the ice rain to start. 😦

I believe that I will also put some DIY ideas on my blog here. There is no better way to occupy one’s mind when the weather keeps us inside. Last Easter, I made a cake which was a big hit and also served as home therapy for my left arm and hand after a surgery to repair the Ulnar nerve went south two months after -leaving me with what they call Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

In the midst of making the roses, I was getting really annoyed that I had no where to put the flower nail to rest while I was working on a different one or just so that it would not get contaminated. My hand kept getting icing and sticky from the residues. I went online to search for a flower nail holder and found that most of the items had to be bought online and the ones that were located in my area were a price I was not willing to cough up. Delima. I took a walk to clear my mind and to think. While I was walking, Flower nail holderI saw this cigarette pack that someone discarded. It looked like a 4″ X 2″ shape, then the lightbulb went off. I grabbed the empty box, cleaned it and grabbed a piece of aluminum foil. I wrapped it then made two holes spaced apart to accommodate my needs. Granted it does not look pretty but it got the job done. I also did not have to shell out $11.00 on ebay and wait for it to get here nor did I have to submit to shelling $16.00 for a Welton brand.

I still use this hand crafted device to this day. It allowed me to work more efficient and smoothly then clumsy trying to find a spot to house the flower nail. The end result well the pic is here.

Easter bunny cake
Easter 2014

Abondigas Soup AKA: Hamburger Soup

Simple hamburger soup
Finished product

I hope everyone had a good Saint Patrick”s Day. Past few nights have gotten cold once again and I decided to make a very simple Hamburger Soup. On the Internet, you’ll find ones with tomatoes, chillies, harsh spices that are hard for some to handle. I have even seen some versions of this dish with corn or squash and zucchinis.

My Dad taught my mother how to make this very simple Hamburger soup- so here we go.

You will need a pound of ground beef, 80 -93%, for this dish I used 80%. Long grain white rice and about two to four Russet potatoes depending on the size of the potato. Salt, cilantro and 1 14.5 oz to 16 oz can of beef stock. First, peel and wash the potatoes then cut into cubes/bite size quarters. Grab a soup pot, add beef stock and about three to four cans of water in soup pot. Next add the potatoes to the liquid, one to two shakes of salt and a pinch or two of cilantro. If you are allergic to cilantro, don’t care for it or out of at the present time, Parsley can be used as a substitute. Turn on burner to medium heat, cover and set timer for twenty minutes. Check in between, incase it starts to boil over, stir and replace cover.

Grab a small bowl and pour some rice in and set aside. Next, grab the hamburger and pinch off an amount that you would like your meatballs to be. Roll the hamburger in the bowl of rice then form into a ball and place on a plate. Keep doing this until all the hamburger is used. Retain the leftover rice that is in the bowl.Rice and meatballs

If the potatoes are fairly easy to cut with what utensil you are using then it’s time to add the meatballs. Place the meatballs in one at a time to avoid the hot water splashing up. Next add the leftover rice that is in the bowl. Reduce heat to med-low and cover. Set timer for thirty minutes.

Serve with flour tortillas and a soup spoon.

Note: For beef stock: One thing you can try is the next time you are cooking a beef roast in a slow cooker, add some brown gravy mix to the water. I did this once and I now prefer it that way. The broth comes out richer and deeper in color.

Cerdo picado -Chopped Pork

Chopped prkWhat does food have to do with Genealogy you might ask, and I will say everything. Food is a gateway to our past, our heritage inspiring us to create new dishes obtained from the past. The photos, the stories, heirlooms handed down from generations is not that different from the foods we eat.  Most of us have recipes filed somewhere that came from our parents or grandparents and if not on file then is retained in our minds from our childhood. Walking into a house, a whiff of aroma that delights our olfactory nerve sending a fond memory to our brain; like the commercials we see of waking up and smelling coffee brewing producing a smile on the face. Food like a certain photo or heirloom, can take us back in time for a moment providing a break from our daily mundane routine of life making us feel better for the moment.

On Finding your roots Tom Colicchio was a guest on an episode that aired on October 21, 2014 and discovered a long line of descendants from Italy which provoked him wanting to book a flight and learn all that he could about the foods that were created during that time period to honor his ancestors. a clip of the show can be seen here.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365346867/

Food has everything to do with Genealogy.

Line cookI have cooked for over twenty years in the restaurant industry starting out as a dishwasher while maintaining my studies with high school. I was thrown to the wolves one day when the line cook on duty walked out during dinner rush. The owner came to me, “you’re on the line”. I was promoted from dishwasher to line cook in a matter of two months. But, I had a knack for it and my parents started teaching me how to cook at the age of seven. The dish above is Carne de cerdo picada en salsa de tomate, translation Chopped pork in tomato sauce. It is a simple dish to make and only takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to make.

What you will need:

 

1 cup of long grain enriched rice

I used four small boneless pork chops and cubed them

1 cup of tomato sauce, I use Hunts brand

8 oz of water. Add a little more water if the tomato sauce seems to thick

About a tablespoon of butter

1 14.5 oz can of Chicken broth I used the 33% less sodium (the brand I used was Hy-vee similar to Great Value-Hey it was on sale) What I would suggest is that when you boil chicken the next time retain the stock and freeze it.

Canola oil spray to coat the pan to cook the pork in. (you can use vegetable oil as well)

Mild chilli powder

Dash of salt

Dash of garlic salt

Dash of black pepper

Let’s get cooking!

First, grab a pot to cook the rice in and place the tablespoon of butter in the pot.

Turn the burner on low to melt the butter slowly so that it will not burn. Once the butter is melted increase the heat to med low or medium if you feel confident. Next, add rice to pot. We want to brown the rice lightly be careful not to burn the rice. Once the rice is lightly brown then add the chicken broth, it should produce some steam from adding the broth. Next add the chilli powder. The chilli powder provides two benefits. One is to give it slight red color and a little zing. The adding of the chilli powder will be an eye judgement so be careful not to put too much in. Next, once it is boiling, reduce heat to the low setting and let simmer for fifteen minutes. I used to use Grandmas chilli powder so did all of my relatives and parents but when they discontinued it, I had to find a solution and that was using two different types of chilli powder. I used Tones mild chilli powder and Clover Valley chili powder to get the flavor and color I was looking for.

While the rice is on simmer, grab a teflon pan and spray with the canola oil then place the cubed pork in pan, add the dash of salt, dash of black pepper and the dash of garlic salt and cook thoroughly. Once the pork is cooked add the tomato sauce and the water and stir. Be sure to taste test to make sure the flavor is not overpowering. If over powered with salt or the tomato sauce to your liking add a little more water to it and stir and when I say little I do mean a little at a time. Once the pork is done set the temp to the low setting so it stays warm and stir from time to time.

Check the rice five minutes before the fifteen minutes are up and see if you might have to add a little more water to it. This is where the fifteen to twenty minutes comes into play.

Once the rice is done, dish up on plate and serve with banana wax peppers and warmed up corn tortillas.   A slice of heaven from my past and generations back. I hope you like this dish as much as I do.

Butter
Melt Butter
Red rice
Lightly Brown Rice
Chilli powder
Add chicken broth and chili powder, cover and reduce heat
Pork
Cubed pork
Pork chops
Cook pork and stir from to time
pork with tomato sauce
Add tomato sauce and water
Pork with tomato sauce
Done
Chopped prk
Bon appetit

 

Photo Restoration with photoshop and Gimp.

Last night, I had my photos selected-my ducks were in a row. I was about to start to record when I get a call. ” Hey, the wifi is out can you fix it?” I started to ask a question then, ” I tried that three times already, wait a second, I’ll call you back.” So I am waiting for a call back. The call comes in, ” No its out I tried three time unplugging the router. I replied, I can fix it but I have to wait for when Deb gets off work. He replied, ” Explorative, I’ll pick you up be there in a second.”

So, I crawl into his tiny car and where off. I get there and the wifi is working fine I told him. he replied, ” no explorative way!”  What the young lad  did not know is that his grandfather already got it going by what I had told them before, unplug both the router and the modem, then plug the router back in wait for it come on completely then plug the modem back in. The young lad forgot to unplug the modem.  Youth and being impatient.

So here is the video, I do hope you enjoy this second video. Please like or leave feedback for me.

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Michael Rios

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