Monday, January 18, 2016

The last 3 weeks have been a bit much

Dec. 28, Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead
Dec. 31, Natalie Cole, singer 
Jan. 4, Country singer Craig Strickland, of the band Backroad Anthem
Jan. 10, David Bowie
Jan. 12, Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams)
Jan. 14, Alan Rickman, revered British actor
Jan. 18, Glenn Frey

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Binge watching Orphan Black

A few years ago we started watching this new show, Orphan Black.  It was an interesting concept, we enjoyed the pace of the show and the acting, but then the t.v. station kept changing the days and times they aired the show, that we lost track of when it was on and gave up on it.  Well, just recently we discovered it on, On Demand, and have been binge watching the first three seasons.  Season 4 begins in April.  

The concept for this show is the lead charcter, Sarah Manning, sees a woman commit suicide by jumping in front of a train, and just before she jumps, she turns to look at Sarah, and we see they look alike. This starts a process with Sarah assuming this woman's identity to find out who she was, and maybe take the tens of thousands in cash she has in her bank account.  Sarah very quickly gets caught up in murder and espionage as she discovers she, like the woman who killed herself, are one of many clones.  The series follows her path in trying to figure out who is behind the cloning and what sinister purpose they had for creating them.  

Each season adds a new layer to who these clones are, discovering more clones, trying to evade people who want to study them, and people who want to destroy them.  The story is very interesting, the acting and filming is nothing short of brilliant because the woman playing Sarah Manning is playing all the clone roles.  She looks, sounds, and moves differently for each clone, and she is so good at it, that it's really believable that these are different people.  Also, the filming and editing is fantastic!  There are always scenes when two or more clones are on screen together, talking to one another, and interacting with one another like dancing together, fighting, etc., and it looks like these are different people in the same room together, but it's actually the same actress shooting these scenes separately, and then being edited together.  If you haven't seen Orphan Black yet, do yourself a favor and watch this bit of brilliance.  It's a great show on many levels.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy 2016!

We have friends visiting from Arkansas, so we went to Niagara Falls to watch the fireworks for New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Genealogy puzzle

I'm figuring out my family tree the hard way, by not using Ancestry or other for pay genealogy search companies.  I'm having great success with my mother's side of the family tree.  Riding high on the success of that, I decided to try figuring out my father's side of the tree.  I had delayed doing his side for two reasons:  1. I had the tree back to 1904 when my father's grandparents came here from Sweden, and anything further would either require using a paid service, or reading comrehension of Swedish; and 2. For some unknown reason, all my father's family emigrated here with the name of Olsson, but by the 1910 U.S. census, they all had taken the last name of Silverstrim.

Now the family story of this was that my great-grandfather, Magnus Olsson was coming to join his brother, Nils (later changed to Nels, then Nelson).  Magnus brought his wife and about six of their kids with them.  That checks out on the Ellis Island immigration forms, because Magnus clearly states that he is coming to join his brother, N. Silverstrim.  This is the first instance I've found of anyone in my family using the name Silverstrim.

So then I ask family members where Silverstrim came from.  The family members say that Nils was serving in the Swedish Navy and jumped ship when they got close to America.  Somehow he either got on board or was picked up by another ship carrying Jewish immigrants, and Nils changed his last name to Silverstein or Silverstrim to blend in with the Jewish immigrants and to hide from the authorities of the Swedish Navy who were looking for him.  This occurred in 1889.

Okay, all this is sorta plausible, initially, but where I question all this is, after he gets into the U.S., why did he continue using the false name?  Swedish officials didn't have authority to search for him  on U.S.soil.  Then, when his brother, Magnus and family come to join him in 1904, Magnus says he's coming to join his brother, and gives his name and address.  Surely if he were worried about being discovered, he wouldn't have wanted Magnus to put his information on the immgration paperwork.  Maybe since it was 15 years later the Swedish authorities weren't looking for him anymore?  So why not go back to his name of Olsson?

Then the story gets stranger.  In 1904 Magnus and family come into the U.S. with the name of Olsson, but by the 1910 U.S. Census, they have all changed their names to Silverstrim.  Why would they do that?  Family members say older family members told them they changed their names to blend in, in the U.S.  Olsson is a much simpler and more common name than Silverstrim, so that story doesn't sound plausible to me.  I know from a Swedish genealogist that the first Silverstrim in Sweden was a Polish Jew.

So now I'm trying to work my way back further, which might require a paid service, and trying to figure out this whole name change business.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

I'm not quite sure how Blogger did this, but this is a photo of my dog, Lambeau, from last year in Maryland when we had snow, and Blogger has made it into a snowy GIF. Cool. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.