Rio Roosevelt Revisited

Like many Americans, we are making our daily journey to the TV to watch the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts. So far I have found it very enjoyable. But last night’s third installment reminded me of an excellent book I read a couple years ago.

The book is The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. After former President Theodore Roosevelt lost Continue reading

Savings with the Kindle edition

I had just finished with my review of Chris Culver’s new book when I followed my own link to Amazon. First I noticed that the Kindle edition of that book was significantly less than cost of the paperback.

Then I went to Chris Culver’s page on Amazon. There I noticed that The Abbey, the first in the Ash Rashid Series was only 99 cents. Yes, less than a dollar ($0.99 for those who want to be exact).

I understand that Amazon frequently changes prices so this might not be true when you get there. But it is certainly worth a look if you are interested in saving with the Kindle edition.

Nine Years Gone by Chris Culver

I was pleased when I saw a new book by Chris Culver on NetGalley. I had previously reviewed a book of his and liked it very much.

I applied for a review copy on my Kindle and was soon engrossed in Nine Years Gone. I was again impressed by Chris Culver’s skill in pulling me into the story. I was amazed by this ability when I read my first Chris Culver book. This time Continue reading

Mystery Monday: Sadie Evahn Spokane WA

I found Sadie Evahn several times in Spokane, WA in the early 1900s. I was really looking for Sadie French and I think this is her before she got married.

Evahn is unusual name and I don’t think it is a mistake in spelling since it is so consistent. But I’d like to hear if anyone has experience with this name as a misspelling. Continue reading

Is it 1984 yet? American Corporate Security State

I read The Rise of the American Corporate Security State: Six Reasons to Be Afraid by Beatrice Edwards and both the title and subtitle tell us what the book is about. Should we be afraid of our government?

Well, I would guess most are not afraid of all government. The National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and indeed most agencies do not put fear into most of us. But there are parts we fear. The IRS may come to mind.
Continue reading

Our annual trip to the movie theater

I guess I never was much of a movie-goer. Some folks do go quite frequently.

But for me once a year seems about right. My last trip a few days ago reminded me of why I only go once a year or so. The movie was good but the experience was not.

So we got there a few minutes early and as expected, we saw a few previews. But then after the movie was scheduled to start, we had another 20 minutes of previews and ads.

Of course if we allowed for that and came 20 minutes late, it would be one of those times the movie starts on time or maybe just less than 20 minutes late.

Going to the movies used to be fun. It is getting less so and my annual trip reminded me of that.

Frances Greer and Horace Johnston marry

Several weeks ago I had written about the marriage of Frances Greer and Horace Johnston in New York City on December 24, 1892.

I saw an abstracted record on and was pretty sure Frances was a daughter of Matthew Greer and Ruth Allingham of Sligo, Ireland I had not previously known about. Continue reading

Gaslight mystery in old New York City: Murder On Astor Place

I read a review of the latest addition to the Gaslight series (a mystery in old New York City). It was a favorable review but I have no idea where I saw it. The series involves several murder investigations in old New York City. Yes back in the 1890s when Teddy Roosevelt was a New York City Police Commissioner.

I like some historical fiction and a good mystery so I thought I would give it a try but Murder in Murray Hill which was the new one was 16th in the Gaslight series. So it seemed to me that it was better to start at the beginning.

I did a bit of looking around and learned Continue reading

Stupid liquor law and schools

Because I live in Pennsylvania, I sometimes write about some of the state laws here. More often than not, it turns out that I think the state law is wrong. And more often than not, I also think those laws are also stupid.

Today’s rant is about a stupid law and an additional stupid law that just adds additional stupidity onto the consequences of the first. But let me explain before you are overwhelmed with the word stupid. In case you are interested, here are my comments on Pennyslvania. And not all are about stupid laws. Continue reading

Outlander or Sassenach: book and Starz TV series

In 1945 Inverness the Scots Gaelic word Sassenach is defined as Englishman or Outlander at worst. I suspect in the Scotland of the early 1700s, a Scot who knew both English and Scots might have considered that Englishman was the worst of those 2 possible meanings.

I mention those 2 periods as the action in Outlander Continue reading

Hangman by Stephan Talty

Last year I reviewed a first novel by established non-fiction writer Stephan Talty. I liked it very much and thought it was a great introduction to a new series about Detective Absalom Kearney.

The second book in the series came out a few months ago and just read it. I thought Hangman by Stephan Talty was a great followup and if anything I found it even more compelling than the first.

The book starts with what seems a very unlikely escape of a serial murderer known as the Hangman. He had recently terrified the residents of Buffalo, NY with a series of murders of teenage girls (involving hanging). The manhunt begins and soon after the murders and the terror begins again.

Homicide Detective Absalom (Abbie) Kearney, who Continue reading

Washington’s Crossing and north along the Delaware

Last spring my wife and I had a pleasant day riding north along the Delaware River. I meant to write then but didn’t get around to it and figure I should do so now before the memories get even fuzzier. The trip was partly based on a trip in National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S., a book we have often used to find scenic drives.

The drive in the book starts in Trenton, NJ but we thought Continue reading

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 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. Hope to hear from you soon!