“I Will Put my Deeds Before my Faith for the Time Being”

On a pretty regular basis, I find myself thinking about this scene from The Trotsky, in which two of Leon’s colleagues are trying to convince the school’s students to back Leon’s (radical) course of action:

I particularly like the acknowledgement that Tony isn’t sure that he’s sold on the path forward, but is prepared to back it anyway.

Doing Lines

This video is surprisingly practical for improving digital linework:

It reminds me a bit about how Ty taught inking: the first class was all about how to move your hand.

Not in Seeking New Landscapes, but in Having New Eyes

I’m only now just starting to warm up to Star Trek: Discovery. But I am warming up. Season 2 looks like it could be fairly strong.

So, here’s me, thinking out loud about what I like and don’t like about the show.

The Gaze and The Gays

First, I’m glad that they’ve dispensed with the “let’s make sure we give our young, cishet, male viewers their requisite number of boners.” I mean, Star Trek: Enterprise was hyperactive about finding reasons to put T’Pol in her underwear while Archer rubbed suntan lotion decontamination gel on her skin. And that was clearly a thing they did because 7 of 9 taught them that having a hot chick in a skintight uniform helps with the ratings.

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But that’s not how the story goes

Yes, there’s no happy endings / Not here and not now / This tale is all sorrows and woes / You might dream that justice and peace win the day / But that’s not how the story goes.

— Netflix’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Warning: minor thematic spoilers for A Series of Unfortunate Events and bigger spoilers for A Fantastic Woman.

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2018 in Film and TV

Let’s start with TV, because it’s been another good year for TV.

Number 5: Altered Carbon. I went back-and-forth on my top 5 list. There have been a lot of good shows and I’ve been tempted to put different things in some slots, especially in position number 5. But at the end of the day, I think I enjoyed Altered Carbon more than some of the other candidates. It has flaws: I disliked how tightly every single plot point in the series fit together into one narrative. That felt too neat. And the casual misogyny that seems to always accompany anything with a noir aesthetic was annoying. But Blade Runner-esque visuals and cool ideas about tech and general good writing. I was there for all of that. Read more

A Rose by Any Other Name

Some time ago, I was pinged on Ancestry by a distant relative who was happy to have come across portions of my family tree that overlapped with her family. I try to always respond to folks on Ancestry; I’ve almost-always had good experiences there. My correspondent was much newer to genealogy than I was, and was therefore able to quickly learn a great deal about at least one line of her family.

She was a descendant of my great-grandmother’s brother. It’s a line of the family that I don’t have very deep records about. My info basically ended at her grandparents. But it was still helpful to her.

So, that’s cool. But because of that recent interaction, I found myself poking that part of the tree again. I located a picture of her great-grandfather, Alton Carol “Al” Kehoe (with my great-grandmother, Mary Ann “Mae” Houle), as well as an obituary, and uploaded them, then sent her a note with links.

But that’s when, all of a sudden, I noticed an unexpected hint that Ancestry was suggesting that I look at. The hint was a marriage record from Ohio, and I was originally inclined to dismiss it because this family lived in Port Lambton, Ontario. It’s not uncommon for my ancestors to get married in Michigan, but Ohio? On the other hand, Alton Carol Kehoe is a pretty unusual name, and I couldn’t overlook that.

According to the marriage record, Alton Carol Kehoe was marrying Rose Skeens on 10 Dec, 1927, in Ohio. Who was Rose Skeens? I’d never heard of her before.

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Shout-out

I went down to Glad Day book store tonight: we had a bit of a launch party to celebrate that we’ve officially started the Kickstarter campaign for the Shout Out anthology.

Our publisher, Steven Andrews, has done an amazing job on the Kickstarter planning as well as organizing the graphics, rewards, and video script. He’s hired a very good video editor: the video looks really nice. And he showed up at the launch party with some preview samples. (They even say “Special Preview” on the cover!).

The response to the Kickstarter has been amazing. As I’m writing this, we’re thisclose a third-of-the-way funded on day one.

Requiem for Google+

So Google+ is about the kick the bucket. I never loved Google+ (I remember the days of the bad press that the “real names” policy generated), but I hate hate hate Facebook, and it was the most successful competitor to Facebook. I’d actually been using it a lot more, recently, as there are a non-trivial number of art- and RPG-related communities on Google+, and I’m sad to lose those.

Chatter on one group suggests that some folks are headed to MeWe — yet another social media site that no one I know uses. But I’ve signed up to see if it turns in to anything. At least they have a mobile app.

Who?

It’s so refreshing to see a well-written Doctor Who episode. It’s been years.

Now if they have more than one well-written episode in a row it’ll be a freakin’ miracle.

The Strattons

I continue to enjoy filling in some of the gaps in F.M. Emerson Holmes’ genealogy of the Holmes family. Recently, I’ve dug a bit deeper into the Stratton family.

Margaret Holmes was the second child of Andrew and Susannah Holmes and she travelled to Canada with her husband, a man named Stratton. F.M. Emerson’s genealogy for the Stratton family is threadbare in a lot of place. He knew very little about Margaret’s husband (only that his last name was Stratton) but he did have a pretty good picture of the eldest Stratton child, Mary Ann. The other two children, Joseph and Elizabeth were pretty sparse on details.

It was pretty easy to determine that Margaret’s husband was named John Stratton; they appear in several of the Lambton County censuses, living in Oil Springs. They disappeared after the 1881 census, but a few weeks ago, I found a record of a Margaret and John Stratten (note the ‘e’) buried in the cemetery in Strathroy, Lambton County. According to the cemetery transcription website that I found this data on, they died within a few months of each other in 1883. There’s no photo of the headstone, so I’m not sure if the transcriber spelled the last name incorrectly, or if the headstone is incorrect. (It’s also possible that this headstone is a completely different family). It’s also true that the Strathroy cemetery hasn’t been fully transcribed on other cemetery transcription websites, so I haven’t been able to cross-reference.

Strathroy is a bit of a hike from Oil Springs, but not unreasonably so. It’s also worth nothing that, at the time of their deaths, their eldest daughter, Mary Ann, appears to have been living in London, Ontario, which is closer to Strathroy than to Oil Springs. That might have something to do with the decision to bury the parents in Strathroy.

Elizabeth Stratton’s details were pretty easy to track down on Ancestry. Elizabeth Stratton married Samuel Wright, and they also went off to live in London. There are, in fact, a few extra children that F.M. Emerson didn’t know about: Margaret, Andrew and Fanny. Andrew and Fanny appear to have died young. Margaret disappears; perhaps she also dies young.

For a long time, I hadn’t been able to make any headway on Joseph Stratton. F.M. Emerson’s birthdate for Joseph (circa 1844) looks like a guess to me. Mary Ann was born in 1842, so I think he guessed the the next two kids arrived every other year. I can find the family in the 1861 and 1871 censuses, and Joseph’s birthdate looks like it should be closer to 1852 or 1853.

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