The Vegan Militia

... because we're all made of meat!

Winter is Coming

I woke up this morning in a despondent haze over the election results. Not knowing what else to do, I took a walk through my garden, since a garden at this time of year is all about devastation. As my feet crunched through the multi-hued blanket of dry leaves, I saw what the recent freezes had done: unripe tomatoes drooping from withered vines, the twisted remains of pepper plants, the nearly bare trees pointing into the grey skies.

Bombing from the Heart

Paris has been on my mind for the last week, as I’m sure it is for many others. Several years ago, I had the good fortune to spend a week in Paris. Coincidentally it was during a national election and it was very interesting to see how differently they conducted their election day. It was on a Sunday, and almost everything was closed (which made it difficult for a couple of vegans to find breakfast).

Git comes up empty

I ran into a situation today, which was quite astonishing: Git creates new repositories in an inconsistent state. Until the first checkin is done, the repository has HEAD pointing to a nonexistent location. I discovered this because I was replicating several other team’s Git servers for backup purposes. In experimenting with this I came up with this reproduction: $ git init --bare foo.git Initialized empty Git repository in /tmp/foo.git/ $ git clone --bare foo.

The Importance of Penmanship

I have a clear memory of being singled out by my 5th grade teacher as being the 2nd worst in the class at penmanship. Or maybe he just said that Neil and I were the two worst. I know I hated cursive, but it’s hard to remember, all these years later, whether I hated it because I had such a hard time doing it, or that I was bad at it because I hated doing it.

The Poor House

While doing research on my family tree, I run into a number of sad situations. Most of them involve infant mortality, which seems alarmingly frequent to our modern eyes. But this time I happened upon a different sad situation. It all started when I found a strange birth record with a bunch of question marks and a surname I was researching. I look at the image of the record and found the original was perfectly legible: in 1868 Lucy Morse had a baby boy, at the age of 13 1⁄2!

On Walled Gardens

When dealing with actual gardens, a walled garden can be useful. I first read about the phrase as a metaphor for a counter productive practice on wikis (and, by extension, the web as a whole). But nowhere can this counter-productive practice be seen more starkly than in genealogy. Here’s an example: I discovered an (indirect) ancestor named Mattys Blanchan, in the course of looking for him on WeRelate, I discovered 3 pages for this person (and a bit more digging showed there had been a fourth one).


So it all started when I found a great grandmother with the last name “Cheney”. That got me scared. So I tracked down that part of my family tree and found that she, ultimately, descended from John Cheney of Newbury but Dick Cheney descended from William Cheney of Roxbury. There are theories that these two ancestors were related, possibly brothers, but no evidence has been found either way. So I could maintain some plausible deniability that Dick Cheney and I are not 9th cousins 1 time removed.

Disgruntled Town Clerks

I happened upon this passage on page 906 of the Vital Record of Rehoboth Lett none marvell att the promiscuous and disorderly setting downe of the names of such they are, or may be married, or doe, or may be born, or may dye; for they are sett as they were brought to mee as disorderly as they are sett downe. If the Courts order had bin minded respecting this matter, they had biue otherwise placed then they are.

Firsthand Knowledge

In my experience, it is pretty rare to find genealogical information on the internet with any source citations at all. But on one site (which shall remain nameless), I actually found a source listed! Wilfred ***, firsthand knowledge. ... Entered by Wilfred ***, Jun 21, 2012 Considering the page is about someone who lived in the mid 18th century, it seems unlikely Wilfred has actual “firsthand knowledge”; not unless he’s immortal or has invented a time machine!

If she weighs the same as a duck...

Sometime in between 1675 and 1686 my 8th great grandfather re-married after the death of his first wife (my 8th great grandmother). His brother married a few years earlier. Coincidentally, both these women were named Sarah. Soon, they had something else in common. In the midst of the Salem Witch Trials, John’s wife, Sarah Alsbee, was accused of witchcraft but was acquitted. His brother’s wife, Sarah Davis was also accused, and imprisoned, but was released on bail and never brought to trial.