I arrived a little late for the The Rochester Genealogical Society meeting at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) and Robert Coomber was talking about his Research trip to LDS Library in Salt Lake City. It was too much a tourist slide show but an informative overview of the library. I was also kind of annoyed that the guy running the laptop slide show didn't know how to operate the software, and neither of them really understood feedback and microphones. But hey, it didn't cost me anything.
In the break for refreshments, I had some instant coffee and cookies and briefly chatted with Rick Porter — the keynote speaker for the night and operator of Finger Lakes House Histories.
His lecture was titled If Your House Could Talk, What Story Would it Tell? It was quite informative. He gave case-study examples describing the kind of information you can find and how that manifests in a house history. He said it's not too hard find the hard history of a structure — its architecture and land history — and it's not too hard to find genealogical information about families, but he's interested in finding the "soft history" of a house … who lived there, when, and why.
Some obvious tools include deeds, census information, and tax records. It might seem straightforward to use deeds, but there's some unexpected challenges: like they were not transfered to newly formed counties so you need to search based on the old county's records. And before 1840, deeds were not often recorded at all. Records of mortgages, deeds, and "discharge mortgages" are available on the county clerk's office — the last being for second mortgages for improvements that were successfully paid in full.
There are other avenues of research as well. Legal notices are another interesting source of house history as they include wills and auctions of households. There are also "Sanborn maps" which were used for fire insurance and include materials, building changes, and power sources and are often available on microfilm at the library. Also, in this area, a house sale included an abstract that itemized the full land history, but usually all that is provided to a new buyer in recent years is evidence of a clean title. Apparently Monroe county is one of a few counties that still requires abstracts, so you can locate that information from the abstract company.
I had always wanted to stop by one of these meetings as the topics discussed often seemed quite interesting. Perhaps I'll make a bigger effort to do so in the future …
It was a remarkable film. It documents the purgatory-like existence of a man after he tries to kill himself. Basically he's brought by bus to this city, given a decent job and a decent apartment. At first he's complacent, but he finds it irritating that everything is "72° pleasant" all the time. None of the food has any flavor or smell. He meets a woman who seems nice but is just as interested in him as she is in decorating the house. When he tells her he met someone else and wants to break up, she suggests that it wait until Saturday because they're having guests over.
The people of the town cannot understand why he is unhappy — after all, everything is pleasant. It very strongly rang true for me and I empathized with the protagonist Andreas [well, maybe he's the antagonist … no, perhaps just a pestisnist]. It seems a lot of people believe that complacency and safety are the pinnacle of human existence. Safety and comfort are good and fine, but continuing to grow and to achieve is much more important to me. And the way to do that is to increase interaction with other people — especially those that are bothersome to you.
I believe that I get and deserve a huge amount of control only of that inside my mind. When I encounter a situation that makes me feel that outside influence has that control then I want to understand why. It may be a situation that is dangerous — a manipulation that is destructive — but in my experience, it is more likely a situation that is a stimulus for growth.
I guess in a way, I feel that all growth comes from irritation and adapting to that irritation. Once you grow enough you no longer experience that irritation — even when the conditions present a similar scenario (i.e. if you had not grown, you would continue to experience irritation). A physical example might be that of learning to play guitar: as you learn, your fingers get irritated from the strings, but after a while, your fingers develop callouses. The strings did not change and you did not avoid the irritation — and now you have grown the ability to deal with that irritation.
I remember years ago when I was living on Burkhard Place and people would come to visit the neighbors and use their car horn as a doorbell. It irritated me to no end because I had no way to stop them from doing that. There were vengeful acts I devised, but none could teach the world. I fantasized that I'd go outside and ask them to stop, then play out the sarcastic scenario that they would say, "my goodness! I thought that when I pushed this button that only my friend would hear — I am deeply sorry and won't do it again."
But in the end, I was awakened one morning at 3 a.m. and tossed and turned in bed until it finally hit me: it's just a noise. I can reassign all sorts of noises in the world and some — while pervasive (like the noise of the wind) or loud (like birds chirping) — I had already set up in my mind to be ignored. I learned that I could reassign the sound of cars honking on the street to just another noise. It was remarkable: I actually did it. And while I can still be annoyed by it, I no longer get impotently irate at people who do it.
Now, an alternative would be to move far away from people and their cars with horns. But there is a tremendous sacrifice in that — that one isolates themselves from the rest of humanity. And having selective interactions with people — especially with the behavioral pattern of always going away if it is irritating — suppresses personal growth.
And as populations increase and energy stops being so darn cheap, the necessity to interact in close proximity is a necessity. One way to do that is to impose the serenity of suburban life onto individuals — externally manipulating them to ensure they conform to the lowest common denominator. Another is to teach people to adapt and to grow — or rather, to rekindle and foster the capacity in all of us to do so.
Unfortunately, there seems to be tremendous pressure for the former. And this pressure leads to a milquetoast gray society. It does not foster a great civilization, but an impotent one. And as for the United States, there is a promise of opportunity — but that promise cannot be upheld simultaneously with a promise of serenity. So as a conservative, I favor the tradition of opportunity that I was taught.
I went out for a barefoot run this morning. It was about 42°F outside and wet from drizzle. The ground sapped away heat from my feet fast and it felt colder than dry pavement that was 10 degrees colder. However, I got back from 2 miles in 18 minutes and my soles were 58°F and felt okay — cold, naturally.
Now you may be wondering why I started doing this. I briefly touched on some of the benefits when I first started, but since then have mentioned only that my calves got sore from the workout and that I kept with it. Well, way back when I was running — in shoes — The Corporate Challenge back in 1999 and 2001, during the race and during practice I felt like I was beating myself up. All the joints in my body were sore, especially my knees, but also my back, and I would finish up wheezing like I was going to die right there. I quit running for a long time because of that — and especially because I started getting chronic knee and back problems.
So I happened to start reading about this "barefoot running" on and off. Once I heard that you use the arch of your foot and your calf muscles as shock absorbers, I was intrigued. I mean, running is a great way to lose weight, but if you end up spending more time on a chiropractic bed then doing it, then it's probably not all that great. So I started — slowly at first — and now I feel like I can run a 5K race. Well, maybe with a little practice.
The best thing is that when I get home, I feel great. I'm tired from the exercise, but I am not sore at all. After today's run, for instance, my toes were scolding met that they were really quite cold, and my calf muscles complain when I walk up the stairs, but that's it. My knees feel great. My back feels great. And I certainly don't feel like I just got beat up.
Now if only I can figure out a way to continue without actually getting a debilitating case of frostbite this winter …
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
It's also not to be confused with
or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator.
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, November 22, 2007 (Thu, Nov 22, 2007, 11/22/2007, or 11/22/07) Friday, November 23, 2007 (Fri, Nov 23, 2007, 11/23/2007, or 11/23/07) Saturday, November 24, 2007 (Sat, Nov 24, 2007, 11/24/2007, or 11/24/07) Sunday, November 25, 2007 (Sun, Nov 25, 2007, 11/25/2007, or 11/25/07) Monday, November 26, 2007 (Mon, Nov 26, 2007, 11/26/2007, or 11/26/07) Tuesday, November 27, 2007 (Tue, Nov 27, 2007, 11/27/2007, or 11/27/07) and Wednesday, November 28, 2007 (Wed, Nov 28, 2007, 11/28/2007, or 11/28/07).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.