Frances Greer marries Horace Johnston in 1892 NYC

I’ve been looking for additional children of Matthew Greer and Ruth Allingham of Glencar, Leitrim and Sligo Town. Yesterday I stumbled across a marriage record on familysearch while looking for information on Matthew Greer’s son of the same name.

Frances Greer married Horace Johnston on 24 Dec 1892 in New York City, NY. The parents of both were listed and hers may be those listed above.

I guess I am about 95% sure I have the right family but I need more. Thought I would mention it now in case anyone out the is looking at the same record or thinks they are related.

American Civil Liberties Union and Stand

I’ve been a member for the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU for quite a while now. I’m not sure exactly how long but I’d guess it is somewhere around 20 or 25 years. I joined because I thought it important to support the ACLU’s fight to defend our rights and liberties.

The ACLU sends members a series of letter and newsletters at intervals which I find educational and informative. But this year they improved on that by launching a new glossy magazine called “Stand”.

The cover story in current issue of “Stand” is an interview with Edward Snowden and the ACLU Executive Director. A related story is by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner(R-Wi) on the PATRIOT Act. Then there are several other articles related to various issues in which the ACLU is involved.

I find “Stand” interesting and attractive and a great benefit of membership.

Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York by Ted Steinberg

The full title is Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York by Ted Steinberg. It is the subtitle that tells what this book is about.

I had written about this book while I was reading it and thought I would review it when finshed.

It is a bit unusual. It is a different perspective on history Continue reading

Hobby Lobby: Missing the forest for the trees

The recent Supreme Court decision on in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties seeking an exemption from the contraception mandate of in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a step in the wrong direction. I think although the justices applied the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to reach a narrow conclusion, it was wrong and that wrongness will cause greater harm than the narrow ruling suggests. Continue reading

Emma Cash McKenzie

I’m trying to find out more about Emma Cash who we think was born in Allegheny, PA about 1867. I believe that is now part of Pittsburgh. Her mother was Ellen Gow (probably from Ireland) and her father was Charles Cash (probably from Germany). She and Ellen Cash are listed in the Federal census for 1860 and 1870 in Westmoreland Co PA.

Emma Cash later married Malcolm McKenzie or Mackenzie, probably in the 1880s. We think they may have married and had their first child in the Boston, MA area and later moved to the Greater New York City area (New Jersey and New York).

A Natural History of Greater New York

I am reading a wonderful book right now. Since I am still reading, it would not be fair to write a review at this point. So this is more of a Progress Report. Or maybe a note about What I am Reading Now.

A great Introduction got my interest in the opening paragraph where the author takes us on a nature adventure to a “veritable Garden of Eden” Continue reading

The Nature Conservancy and Nature Conservancy

A rather odd title but I wanted to mention The Nature Conservancy (website – nature.org). I’ve been a member for many years now and I’ve been glad to contribute a little to their work in preserving nature’s wild places. What made me think about it Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes is now a public domain character

It is hard to believe but the Sherlock Holmes stories are almost a century old. Well, some are more and some less but the point is the stories are very old. So the stories have been in the public domain for years. Yet the character was still under copyright. And although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died well before most us us were born, his heirs still collected a fee when Sherlock Holmes was used as a character in another work.

A blog post on the Smithsonian website explains the court case and ruling that put Sherlock Holmes in the public domain. Sounds like a win for fiction fans.

The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein

A few weeks ago a wrote a review of the short free ebook on saving and investing by Dr. William J. Bernstein. I thought the book was a very good but short.


I remembered that I had read Bernstein’s The Four Pillars of Investing and still had it on my bookshelf. And as I recalled it covered similar information as the free ebook but in more detail. In the free book he would tell you what he thought best and give a brief explanation. In the longer The Four Pillars of Investing, he has the space to tell you why he thinks the proposed actions are good in more detail and a bit of history behind his recommendations.

I have since learned that there is an updated version of The Four Pillars of Investing. The one I had read several years ago and just re-read was the 2002 first edition. There is now a 2010 edition. But judging from the comments on Amazon, the newer edition appears to be the same as 2002 edition with a postscript to cover the events between the 2 editions.

William Bernstein has also published several other books on investing and related areas of history. So you might want to visit Dr Bernstein’s Amazon page to see which of his books you think most interesting and appropriate.

I find it encouraging that his ideas are still good after the financial melt-down of the past few years. The ideas in his 2014 ebook are essentially similar to the 2002 edition of The Four Pillars of Investing (and the 2010 edition of the 4 pillars book).

His plan for investing is relatively simple, but it is not always easy to follow since the ups and downs of the market can make it difficult to stick with your plan. But even if the implementation is only partial you will be better off in the long-term.

So I highly recommend The Four Pillars of Investing but would suggest reading the free ebook first to see if you like William J. Bernstein’s writing and the type of advise he gives.

By Any Means by Chris Culver

A total surprise. I was expecting a more or less usual crime novel when I downloaded By Any Means (from NetGalley) by a new (for me) author. Instead I was amazed by Chris Culver’s skill in sucking me into the story and then the life of his main character. I now know that By Any Means is Chris Culver’s third Ash Rashid novel. Continue reading

Inheritance by Sharon Moalem

I enjoyed reading Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives—and Our Lives Change Our Genes by Sharon Moalem.


I think this is a wonderful book written for the general reader. At least I think it would be easily understandable by most people. A word of warning – I am a geneticist so I may not be the best judge of that but most of the reviews I’ve read seem to agree on this point.

Dr. Moalem is accomplished in his field. He knows the details and nuances but is able to explain a complicated subject in an easily understandable way.

I thought the opening chapter and the ending where he summarized were particularly well-done.

Time Warner-Comcast merger and customer satisfaction

I saw an article in this morning’s paper, Survey puts Time Warner-Comcast merger in a harsh light.

It was very disturbing news when you consider how large this new company will be. I had previously written about the Time Warner-Comcast merger and was a bit concerned about the dominant size of the company in both cable TV and internet.

The survey shows that Time Warner is the worst in customer satisfaction and Comcast is second worst. It remains to be seen how customer satisfaction will be in the combined company but I would not be too optimistic based on past results.

Amazon-Hachette Feud

Given the unpleasant aspects of the Amazon-Hachette Feud and the resulting consumer problems with delays buying books by many best selling authors published by Hachette you’d think consumers would be finding alternatives to Amazon and competitors would use this as an opportunity to increase sales.

You would think internet competitors such as Barnes and Noble or local independent book stores would advertise that they stock and can deliver Hachette titles.

For example, Michael Connelly has a thriller featuring Detective Harry Bosch which is available for pre-order. I am on their mailing list and did get an email about the pre-order but there was no mention of the Amazon-Hachette dispute and how Barnes and Noble had no problem with delivery of Hachette titles.

James Patterson and David Baldacci currently have best sellers and are published by Hachette. Thousands of titles are published by Hachette. Is this not a tremendous business opportunity for Barnes and Noble, other internet competitors, and your local independent book store?