Well – being in the book business for over 30 years finally caught up with me. I am being scheduled for surgery immediately after the Salt Lake Christmas Tour in early December. At least I’ll be able to move my arm during that week!
My doctor will reattach muscles and reshape my joint somewhat. It is an outpatient procedure, and I’ll be going home the same day! Then I’ll have six weeks with nothing but passive (not muscular) movement of the arm. The muscles where the bicep attaches to the shoulder joint are entirely torn loose, and have atrophied over the last year or so. I’ll be doing physical therapy for a few months getting the muscles built back up from early February on. So – my shoulder should be out of the sling in time for RootsTech. That’s good news.
I think that moving many hundreds of heavy boxes during the move to Washington added additional stress – and doing the heavy work at NGS in St. Charles, Missouri and the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank in May and June last year caused the extreme tearing of already weakened muscles. I’ve been doing physical therapy on the shoulder since summer with no success, so we’ll now go ahead and fix this thing. If I’d had an MRI earlier, I think we may have already moved ahead with the surgery. I just got that done last week. I’m looking forward to getting back to sleep at night. This thing has been a REAL pain – not in the neck, but close by.
My friend, Lee Everton, is working with HERO Client Rescue S.A., located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This group is the first EMS (First Responders) group ever in Haiti. HERO was founded by Veterans who have served in Haiti and saw the need for this important service. HERO enables Veterans, Paramedics, EMT’s, Firemen and Police volunteer opportunities in Haiti and is raising funds to provide additional tools for these volunteers while serving. Lee has created a gofundme campaign to help raise funds to purchase these tools.
Please take a minute to read more about the accomplishments of HERO and the tools they need on the gofundme page. Also, if you can share this with your friends and coworkers, it would be a great benefit to HERO. The direct link to the campaign for HERO is: http://www.gofundme.com/wrvf8z8z I personally dropped $20 on the project to get it started. Small donations can all add up!
By the way, I spoke with Lee again a few hours ago, and he’s so excited about what HERO is doing that he’s leaving Utah for a while and will be personally working with these folks in Haiti.
While I was attending the NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, I received the news that my long-term executive secretary, Hazel Mills, had passed away that day, May 15, 2015, in Puyallup, Washington. Many of my readers will remember Hazel as the lady who set up and coordinated my speaking engagements from 1987 through 2005 – doing all this after she had already reached retirement age. Hazel was an amazing woman, and became an “adopted” member of the Meitzler family.
Sometime in 1986 I placed an ad in our local newspaper stating that I was looking for an executive secretary. I stated in the ad that I wanted someone who could type, take shorthand, and keep me organized. Hours later, Hazel walked through the door of the Heritage Quest operation on Washington Avenue in Orting. She said something like “I’m not young, but I can type 85 words a minute, take shorthand, and have lots of experience keeping my boss on track. Will I do?” I stammered a bit, but quickly told her I thought she’d do just fine. And that began a long relationship with Hazel – she was not only my secretary, but quickly became invaluable to us in that she knew how to work with folks, and the media. And she was our friend, almost like another mother to me. She personally scheduled over 1500 speaking appearances for me. For a while she also set up speaking appointments for Bill Dollarhide and Dewayne Lener.
As seems to be almost normal in my life, I was again away on business when someone important in my life was in the process of leaving us. However, I’m pleased that my niece, Christina Meitzler, was there to hold Hazel’s hand, sing to her and help her make the transition. R.I.P. Hazel Juhl Mills – my dear friend.
Bill Dollarhide and I are currently on the road heading back to Orting, Washington, having spent much of last week at the NGS Conference in St. Charles, Missouri.
On Sunday we drove from St. Charles to Fort Collins, Colorado. This morning we are meeting with my neice and cousin, then going to see my sister, Erma Lamb. Looking forward to seeing them all! Then on to Salt Lake City, where we will stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel tonight.
We plan to see my son, Lee and his family, pick up books at Schaffer Bindery and go on home. Should arrive there mid-day on Wednesday.
A few million of us are awaiting this weekend’s Superbowl with anticipation – myself included. Being a die-hard Seahawks fan for several decades has been hard at times. Life has been good lately. I ran across an interesting tidbit about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
It seems that Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s grandparents, Marija and Ivan, immigrated from Croatia to the United States in 1897. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has Croatian ancestry on his maternal side.
Update January 25, 2014 – I’m finally feeling 100% myself again. Last Tuesday morning I awoke and realized that my chest didn’t hurt anymore. The pain had gone away and then come back with a vengeance. I hope I never have to go through all that again!
Update January 9, 2015 – I’m better – back at work – but still fighting the mucus in my lungs…
For those of you who may wonder why I haven’t been blogging, there’s a simple answer… On December 14, the day folks were flying out from our annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour, I came down very with a virus, making me very ill. I traveled the 900 miles home by car, sick all the way, and then pretty much collapsed once I got here. Not being a miser with my miseries, I gave portions of the virus to my entire family – thus ensuring we all had a rather miserable Christmas. Oh, well – better luck next year.
I am starting to feel better, although I’m still feeling the effects of this thing. I have to do a road trip this week, so I’m hoping to be feeling MUCH better real soon now.
After an absence of about 23 years, Patty and I are again living in Orting, Washington. We lived about 5 miles outside of Orting, in Pierce County, up until 1991. We then moved to the tiny community of Elbe (just outside Mt. Rainier National Park) for several years. After spending 6 years on the road, and settling in Utah for well over a decade, we’ve come full circle, and moved back to Orting. This time we live within the city limits, with a wonderful view of Mount Rainier from our front porch. Don’t misunderstand me here – we have that great view if it’s not raining – which it’s doing today.
We started making our move from Utah last May, and have made several trips to Utah in the meantime. One of those trips took seven weeks as we were getting our house ready to place on the real estate market. Although we will be back in Utah again several times this fall and winter, we are now getting settled into our home in Orting, as well as working normal business hours at Family Roots Publishing. We moved the company from Utah, back into the old Heritage Quest Press building that my brother and I initially purchased about 1987. Steve has been running a printing business here for about 20 years while I’ve been away. Now both businesses are operating under the same roof. Our son, Dale, and his family came back to Washington with us. Many of you know Dale and Tara, having met them as they displayed product for Family Roots Publishing at conferences all over the U.S.A.
We really love Western Washington, even enjoying the rain. Patty and I both have family here and we are glad to be home again.
Last spring we (the Meitzlers) made the decision to move home to Orting, Washington. As of July, we had been gone for 20 years, as it was in July of 1994 that we left Washington State and went on the road in our 36 ft. Safari motorcoach. We didn’t come off the road until 2000, although we did take the motorhome out to conferences up through 2005. When we did settle down, it was in Bountiful, Utah, where we have lived until now.
We started packing up both our home, and the business – running books sales to reduce selected inventory in May. We took one truck load of household items to Washington in early June. That load went into storage. On July 2, we left Bountiful with 2 trucks (with trailers) loaded with both books and household goods, as well as an SUV towing a trailer, arriving in Orting the following day. We unloaded the rigs over the holiday weekend, part going into our house, part into the business building, and part to storage. We had the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day in Orting, which is quite a spectacular event! There doesn’t seem to be any ordinances dealing with fireworks in Orting, and if there are, they are totally ignored. I’ll admit to enjoying the evening to the fullest extent, getting to know a lot of my new neighbors in the process. Over the next month, our family has spent some enjoyable walks and bicycle rides on the Foothills Trail, which runs just a few hundred yards from our home. Everyone in the family has bikes, so we can ride the Trail whenever we have the time.
During the month of July we got the FRPC business up and running in the old Heritage Quest Press building in Orting. My brother, Steve, owns the building, and he made space for us to set up our data entry, sales, and stockroom in the same area where we worked from 1988 to 1993.
About a week ago, Patty and I left Orting, leaving Dale and Tara to mind the store, and drove back to Bountiful. Arriving here, we immediately loaded a truck and trailer with both household and business goods for a return to Orting. We then joined our son, Lee, in going to work on getting the house ready to sell. After essentially running a business out of our basement here since 2008, the place needed new carpet, and various other upgrades that we’ve been putting off since we bought the place. Now someone else will get all these wonderful upgrades that we talked about doing since we moved in. Oh well, this seems to be what I do with every home we’ve owned over the years…
Patty and I have also been working on the websites, and the Salt Lake Christmas Tour while here. Patty is currently in the process of preparing the 2014 Christmas tour receipts and invoices, which we will mail by August 25 or 25. As of this moment, we have 74 attendees preregistered for the Christmas Tour, with just a few spaces left for the 2014 Tour. If you’re interested in coming, you might want to sign up asap!
We plan to leave our Utah place in the hands of the real estate folks and head for Orting again on September 3 or 4 – then attempt to return to a “normal” life.
I want to thank our many friends and FRPC customers who have continued to support us with your thoughts and prayers, as well as purchases, during this EXTREMELY stressful period in our lives. We can see the finish line, and just need to cross over. Just a few more days…
Many times during the last thirty years, while I’ve been involved in genealogy-related businesses, I have made the statement that I could do what I do for a living almost any place, as long as it was within the United States of America.
Why would I say that? Well, most likely because as the old saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” During the last three decades Patty and I have lived and owned property in Washington State, Utah, and South Dakota. For nearly seven years we weren’t sure where we lived, as a motor coach was home and it kept moving every few days. We seriously considered moving to Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Missouri – the first for the history, Tennessee and Missouri for their central United States location and the country music roots (mixing business with pleasure).
Patty and I are moving back home. They say you can never go home again, and sure enough, we can’t get the 50-acre farm back. But we can come close. We are moving back to Orting, Washington. That’s where our roots are. We started Heritage Quest there, and in fact, we are moving Family Roots Publishing back into the Heritage Quest Press building on Bridge Street in Orting. Dale, Tara and the grandchildren are going with us. The first truckload of household goods rolls Tuesday morning and we plan to be fully moved by mid-August – possibly much sooner. We haven’t been residents of Washington State for exactly 20 years, although we did own property there until 2000. We’re really looking forward to getting home, where we still have family and friends today.
So – not only are two full households moving back to Orting, But we are moving the entire Family Roots Publishing operation to western Washington also. It’s about an 850-900 mile move, dependent on which pass we take over the Cascade range. The major hurdle to be overcome in the move is the weight issue of transporting tens of thousands of books. Books are heavy, and there is a limit on how much weight we can move per load. To alleviate some of that weight, starting today, we are running Internet with Credit Card Only sales on books in stock so we won’t have to haul quite as much.
As many of you know, I was not at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond. My booth in the exhibit hall was empty. As luck would have it, my grandchildren came down with some kind of flu-like virus the on Friday night, May 2nd. As usual, the kids had come over for the weekend, and we were looking forward to a good time prior to grandpa’s having to fly out to Richmond at 11:58 on Monday night. Whatever the bug was, all three of them came down sick. I thought nothing of it, but helped care for them.
Then Monday morning, I suddenly realized that all was not well with me, and I came down sick – really sick. After spending some time in bed, I got up and again continued to pack for the trip, thinking maybe I could make it. Although dizzy, and weak, I still had hope. Well, hope didn’t do it, and I went down sicker than ever. Needless to say, I missed my flight to Richmond, and was down for several days. It’s the first time I’ve missed an NGS Conference in many years.
I missed seeing many of my friends as planned missing several dinners, and such as well! Bummer…
I’ve been gone for a few days – sick with a virus that knocked me out of commission for a full week. It all began with a sore throat on Monday, April 21. By Tuesday morning, I was really sick. I stayed in bed and forced fluids, thinking I could beat the thing by washing it out of me. Well, it didn’t work. By Friday, when I had to get upright and take my grandson to his parents’ house a couple miles away, I was even worse off.
Just how bad it was can be explained this way. I had a headache, my nose was running, my eyes itched and had bags under them that made me look like a hound dog of some kind. Oh, how my eyes hurt. When I got to Dale’s house on Friday, he looked me over and asked “what’s with the shoes…?” Looking down, I could see that I had on one black sneaker and one white one (actually a very stained white one, as it was one of my old gardening shoes). I don’t believe I’ve ever done that before. I felt rather silly, but also got a laugh out of the whole thing.
And now it’s Wednesday, May 1. I’m feeling pretty good again, with just a bit of congestion still hanging on. I think I’ll live – and am now trying to catch up for being away from the computer for a week.
And on to more exciting things. As we all know, next week is the annual National Genealogical Society Conference, this year in Richmond, Virginia. I will fly out early Tuesday morning, and should be working in the exhibit hall by noon. I have until 5 pm to get the booth set up. This year I’ve just got one booth, and will be at the conference promoting the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, GenealogyBlog.com, FamilyRootsPublishing.com, the Map Guide to German Parish Registers series, and my Genealogy Newsline newletter. I won’t be hawking books as at the past NGS conferences, but will be sending folks to the Maia’s Books booth to buy my stuff. Come see me in booth 116.
A few days ago, I made some changes to my Sprint cell phone service and got a free tablet in the process. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. It has a 7 inch screen, bigger than my iPhone, but still much smaller than any computer I have used before.
Now don’t get me wrong… “Free” also meant that Ì was obligated to a two year data contact about $15 per month. I almost declined getting the free tablet, but decided maybe I could use it for blogging. This blog is being written using the tablet.
I purchased a case and external bluetooth keyboard for about $40, thinking that this might keep the tablet in better shape, as well as allowing me to type a little easier. Thus far, I am finding the slight delay between the keyboard and screen to be a bit disconserting. I find that I have to press the keys a lot more solidly than I am used to. It’s also really easy to accidentally turn on the caps lock key when hitting shift. I imagine that these are things I can get used to. Note that these are all keyboard issues, and have nothing to do with the operations of the tablet itself.
I just imported the photo, and that process seems to work okay. This just might work. Only time will tell.
Tomorrow is thanksgiving and I find myself looking back at the Thanksgivings of my past. Born in Washington State and surrounded by most of my extended family, we always got together with the full family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But with the deaths of all of my grandparents and the growing up of my cousins we have all moved on from those close childhood experiences. Arizona, Australia, Maryland, Utah, California, Colorado and Washington – we are spread too far apart to get together on this holiday.
Genealogy brings you closer to your family, but holidays also remind us of how many family members you no longer see.
On the other hand, many of us will see our loved ones on this holiday. I have my parents, my brother, our wives, their families and our children, to spend the day with. I will hold them close, remember those who cannot be there and we will share our memories. I hope you share yours too.
The holidays are the time of year we have those people together that we may want to interview. We usually realize too late where the memory-holes in our relatives lives are. It is a tragedy when only after his death do you realize there is a 12 year gap in grandpa’s life – a gap that we really know nothing about. Where was he? Was he really a logger for that long? That would make it his longest held job!
Another take on the 23andme case is found on tech.fortune.cnn.com in an article by Ryan Bradley titled “The curious case of 23andMe”. He states “The FDA approval process for medical devices is insane. Even the FDA knows it’s way too long and way too expensive.”
I have to ask what’s to approve about a bottle you spit in or a swab to wipe your cheek. This same technology has been used for years without the FDA getting involved.
Back in grade school’ I was in a study regarding how many children used tobacco. They had us put a sponge in our mouth, capturing our saliva, same technology, and they didn’t even have to get parental approval.
On November 22, 2013 the FDA sent a letter to 23andme telling them to stop selling their “23andMe Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service (PGS)” The reason for the halt is that their $99 service, which provides purchasers with a genetic analysis of their saliva, hasn’t been approved by the FDA.
In the last year 23andme has directed their advertising toward testing for diseases and drug interaction. This is what the FDA seems to be warning them to stop doing.
23andme is not the only genetic testing company to get warning letters. The FDA has been coming down on many testing facilities. Inexpensive genetic testing has become available in the last few years and the U.S. government’s bloated bureaucracy has now decided it is time to take it away from you. Or at least that’s my opinion. Others with really cool titles may disagree.
Razib Khan from blogs.discovermagazine.com, in his article titled “The FDA and 23andMe” compared the FDA move to the “Recording Industry Association of America” attack on Napster. Napster took the hit, but as any teenager knows, if you want the free music, you can get the free music. The FDA may successfully break 23andMe, but once we have had a taste of inexpensive genetic testing, we will find a way to continue to have it.
My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that it is just another of many attacks by the federal bureaucracy on the small businesses of America.