Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

2015 in review

January 1, 2016

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Click here to see the complete report.


2014 in review

January 2, 2015

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 520 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Brief History of My Line of Hasketts (with Info on My Great Grandfather’s Siblings)

May 20, 2014

My wife has been researching her genealogy for years, meeting relatives and learning family history. I had been interested in mine too, but waited too long until everyone who could answer questions had been long gone. I had access to a brief direct male line leading back to 18th century Tipperary, a remembered family legend concerning Haskett’s serving under Cromwell (with the source tape missing and the person who recorded it, my namesake Great Grandfather’s youngest sister, gone these past twenty years), and not much more. Searches online and through’s paid membership resources came up fruitless.

I knew my Great Grandfather had a twin brother named Gladwyn. For years I knew nothing about him, whether he married and had a family, if the Haskett’s I was tracking down in Kelowna and Penticton, British Columbia, were descendants of his (they weren’t.) All I was able to find online was the date of his death and the location of his grave.

When my wife and I found ourselves vacationing in the Canadian Okanagan last Summer we made a stop at Lakeview Cemetery in Penticton. We located Gladwyn’s grave and found an adjacent grave for a Helen Ruth Slater. We didn’t know the name, but we took pictures of the beautiful location and my wife shared the story on her genealogy blog. Within two weeks of posting we were contacted by Gladwyn’s grandniece, Jennifer, who by sheer coincidence happened to do a websearch and found Tammy’s post.

We learned that Helen was Gladwyn’s daughter, and we were given names of his other descendants. After years of always hitting a brick wall I was finally getting somewhere. Between my parents and I we made contact with various shirttail cousins and have finally started to learn some family history.

When Jennifer my Second Cousin Once-Removed contacted us she shared some typewritten notes her Grandmother had put together. With her permission I’m sharing the first family history I’ve been able to get my hands on.

[This space will show the family photo of George and Minnie Haskett, with their 8 children, whenever I get it scanned]


WILLIAM MILFORD HASKETT was born in County Tipperary, Ireland. He came to Canada with his wife and small family in 1818. They settled in the heavily forested 5th Concession of London Township. There he built a small log house using canvas for windows and doors, and their immigrant trunks for barriers against wolves, bears and nocturnal wildlife that sniffed around for food.

In the early days Wm. Haskett walked to Toronto to earn money as a painter to support his young family. In time he was able to purchase a horse to ride to Toronto. This early Haskett and his family were industrious!! Eventually Wm. secured farms for each of his 4 sons. His 2 daughters also married farmers. His own retirement home was built on his son Nelson’s farm. It was said that he continued to be a great walker until the year of his death at the age of 91 years.

His children were Eliza (married to John Geary 1833), John, Thomas (married Hannah Talbot 1833), ROBERT (married to Priscilla Martin 1839), Nelson and Mary Ann.

ROBERT HASKETT and his wife, PRISCILLA MARTIN HASKETT had 5 children –Mary Jane (married G. Caning?), Eliza (married Myles Young), GEORGE MARTIN (married MARY JANE ‘MINNIE’ RORKE), William (married Annie Douglas), Frances (spinster).

GEORGE MARTIN HASKETT left school at an early age to drive the coach from London to Owen Sound. Eventually he moved to Owen Sound where he served an apprenticeship with a hardware merchant. In 1865 with his brother William he started a hardware business in the village of Markdale. Along with his activity in the business field George also served the community as a director in the Agriculture Society, as a village councillor and later as Reeve of the township. He did not marry until 1886 when he was in his mid-forties. His bride, Minnie Rorke was 27. With the success of his hardware business, George was able to have a large comfortable home built for his bride. She called their home ‘Sunny-home’. George and Minnie raised a family of 8 children which included 2 sets of twins. Their names were George Chester, William Mcfarland, Merwyn Young, Gladwyn Washington, Harold Rorke, Kendall Richardson, Laura Kathleen, Constance Amelia Sadie.

George was seriously ill (skin cancer?) in 1912 and died in 1912. [hand corrected from 1913.] He and Minnie had been married for 28 years.

MINNIE continued to live in the Markdale home with Kathleen, Ken and Connie until 1916 when she sold both the hardware block and Sunny-home. During the next 8 years she lived in Simcoe, Toronto and Brockville with family members. In 1924 she travelled to Western Canada and bought 2 adjoining bungalows in Vancouver. There she created her ‘little grey home in the west’ a home of the heart for Chester, Glady and her grandchildren Helen and Billy



With the outbreak of World War 2 Minnie sold her Vancouver property and moved to Penticton to live with Glady and his children. In 1943 health problems (glaucoma) dictated that she move back to Eastern Canada. She found a warm welcome in Toronto in Chester’s home, and good medical care arranged by Ken, and extra support from Kathleen and Bill and their families. She died in Chester’s home in August 1946.


MERNIE was the first to leave Markdale when he travelled to Brownlee, Saskatchewan to work for his father’s friend, George Butchart, in 1913. In Saskatchewan Mernie married Alyce Maguire, teacher, and daughter of an American family who owned 3 hotels in Saskatchewan. When ‘local option’* was passed, the Maguire family moved to Olympia, Washington. Mernie and Alyce also moved to Olympia about 1925 and established a permanent home there, and a successful fuel business.

BILLY and KEN were trained as jewellers and watch-makers first in Markdale, later in Toronto. In time both moved on to successful careers in optometry.

CHESTER and GLADY worked in Northern Ontario and British Columbia in the accounting and bookkeeping services of construction companies engaged in road building and elevators.

HARRY died suddenly (peritonitis) shortly after beginning studies at the University of Toronto in 1914.

GLADY and KEN served overseas in World War 1. Glady suffered severe leg injuries at Vimy Ridge. Ken returned to civilian life a marked ‘hearing loss’.

KATHLEEN attended Business College in Owen Sound and then worked in the Markdale Agricultural Office. She married the local Ag. Rep. and together they farmed happily in the Simcoe area.

CONNIE graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1918. After obtaining a teacher’s certificate from the University of Toronto in 1919, she travelled west to teach in Neepawa Manitoba. She married a merchant in 1928 and lived in Neepawa for the rest of her life.

‘Local Option’ — I think this had something to do with the selling of liquor during the years when Prohibition was determined by certain governments, provincially or federally.


Thank You to Jennifer Kerr Williams for making contact and providing me with this history.

I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.

March 4, 2014

So here’s something I haven’t done before. I’m inviting you to visit my church this Sunday.

NOW WAIT – don’t assume anything. I’m not looking to convert, indoctrinate, judge, or con anyone, nor am I looking to take advantage of someone at their weakest. I’m not trying to get 10% of your money for our coffers. Personally it’s all the same to me whether you’re Christian or not. I get a gold star to put on my Pee Chee for every visitor I invite.

We’re a community that supports each other. We include the Left and the Right. Believers and Non-Believers. Saints and Sinners. Still, I understand why many of you might not be too keen on stopping by this Sunday.

But I already go to church.

That’s great. Maybe someday I’ll visit yours too. As far as we’re concerned ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m not Lutheran.

Doesn’t matter, we have regulars who don’t consider themselves Lutheran per se. ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m not even Christian.

Doesn’t matter. Whether you’re Jewish, Mormon, Hindu, Jehovah’s Witness or even if you’re going to throw the Flying Spaghetti Monster at me ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m Wiccan. I’m a witch.

Doesn’t matter. You won’t burn our building down, and we’re not going to throw you on the bonfire out back. ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m an Atheist. I think you’re a bit mental if you believe in that flying zombie.

Doesn’t matter. We have regulars who don’t believe in God. (And in case you’re wondering, no I’m not talking about me.) Their reasons for attending every week are various, but it’s all the same because ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m gay.

That’s nice. Are you married? Got a partner? Do you have kids? Invite the family to come with you. ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m an alcoholic/addict.

That’s alright. Grape juice is an option during Communion (and unlike with the Catholics, ALL ARE WELCOME to take Communion.)

But I’m an unwed mother.

That’s alright. Bring the kid(s). ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I have an infant who might fuss and/or a toddler who might melt down.

You’re not alone. And you ARE WELCOME.

But if you only knew what my life was like, you’d blow me off as just some sinner.

That’s nothing special. We’re all sinners here. We’re also all saints here. In other words, I’d say we’re normal, like you. ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m a Satanist! What now?

I’m sorry to hear that. None the less, ALL ARE WELCOME.

But all I have are jeans and t-shirts.

We don’t have a dress code. I wear white socks with black shoes and black pants. Some members don’t even tuck their shirt in. ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I work on Sunday Mornings.

That bites. Our Pastor should understand, she never gets Sunday off. If our membership improves we might have a later service, or an earlier service, or maybe even a service on a different day of the week. To help us reach that day, ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I’m ill. It’s a true physical ordeal for me to leave my house.

I’m sharing our contact info at the end of this. Reach out to us, we’ll bring the Church to you. ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I don’t even like you, jerk. And you definitely don’t like me.

Perhaps the Pastor will have to keep us separated but nevertheless ALL ARE WELCOME.

But I don’t even live near Olympia. I’m hundreds or even thousands of miles away. I’m even across the ocean from you.

This invite is open in perpetuity. Whenever you just happen to be in the neighborhood remember that ALL ARE WELCOME.

My church is Gull Harbor Lutheran at 4610 Boston Harbor Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506.

Their business number is (360) 352-5335.

Their webpage is located here.

And our FB page can be found here.

Services are Sunday at 10:00. The Communion bread is gluten free (Seriously, Jesus isn’t going to aggravate your celiac disease in this church.)

My Final Post of 2013

December 31, 2013

Every year I share New Year’s Resolutions that don’t even last a month before being forgotten. Most of the time they don’t even last two weeks.

This year I’m going to finally break that cycle. No, I’m not going to actually follow through on my resolutions. Rather, I’m going to list up front things I won’t stick with.

1. I will not take any measures to improve my cardio-vascular system nor will I lessen the width of my gut.

2. I will not write daily for 365 days. I won’t even write daily for seven. My money’s riding on my next post being sometime in April.

3. I’ll go ahead and remember to give all my Facebook friends Happy Birthdays but I’ll slack off sometime before the Summer arrives and really lose track when December rolls around.

4. I’m going to continue to sweat the small stuff. Because all that small stuff builds up.

I’d list more, but history has proven I can’t stick with even one let alone an entire list.