Monday, June 20, 2016

A Cluttered Nook

  Hello again, good folks! 

   I decided to upload a little perspective originating from my tiny world of computer land, basically consisting of what is usually considered a 'regular' blog post.

   In this instance, visitors to the site will get a glimpse of the kind of experimental treatment seen...somewhere ELSE, but only rarely here, I am quick to add. Please don't expect me to modernize to a greater extent as it just isn't my way and would probably be counter productive. I seriously doubt you would want to see it change to such a large extent. Nor do we get the impression that would be a requirement. THIS is a 1 Time event. There aren't even any links, imagine that!

   For those of you that are only browsing through, this is a blog about old history, ancestry and lost times in Westmoreland and Fayette counties of southwestern Pa. in the good ol' US of A; with dates, names and places. I also chose to include a degree of local tradition and culture. OK, I hope that is a close enough definition of what normally takes place where you are at this moment.

Attempt at a 'Normal' Blog Post:

   Naturally, the working format is rarely tainted with a large splattering of humor, fifteen, no, sixteen  pics of cousins, tales of my personal triumphs and tragedies, endless gym work outs, quick exciting stops for slurpees, or how not to burn bacon. No casual info is included about the old china, recent barbecues, roof repair or wrecked cars. Nor is this a copycat rip off of money making, "how-to" forums. That is an explanation of what you won't find, and I am content most would NOT prefer to read such babble. As such things are always kept at a reasonable minimum and at arms length, people will have to search elsewhere for such tidbits, and those forums and blogs are available in spades, ad infinitum. For the moment this could be a refreshing change of pace. Just maybe. If there are any apologies to be made, I am in a lighter mood, and am not trying to offend anyone, only deciding to briefly indulge a whim by sharing another aspect of blogging.

 Thanks for taking some time out and spending some minutes with me here where I work privately and diligently on YOUR history and MINE. This has become more than a hobby to me and less than a career. And I hope no one is too bored with my inclusion of a personal glimpse of life. Do let me know. (Of course, it's a bit late to change things now that it's out of the bag, you understand!).

 What you see, and don't see on the photos:

   First of all, the photos are not the best; sorry about that. As dark as they appear, you are lucky to notice anything, so I do hope your eyesight is fairly keen.

  Yes, it's just an Acer computer you may observe there in the dim lighting, The same for the flat screen monitor and most of the wires loose and crawling like science fiction tentacles everywhere. They're alright and do get the job done, so calm down now, alright? I'll be careful not to get too tangled up and become one of the 'fallen and can't get up' unfortunates.Actually, a perfectly rid up and sparsely furnished social networking zone kind of turns me off. Too neat, shiny and unused looking.


   The computer is not exactly "NEW", and pretty much just a basic model from Walmart.  still we're dealing with 64 bit, with all the glut of ads, some obvious and some hidden in the start menu almost demanding I go on a reckless shopping spree for tons of brand new software and those forced passwords the moment I powered it up. What progress. At least they have allowed the opportunity to revamp the start menu so it is not so darn intrusive.


   Ah, the nostalgia for the simple 90's when I was learning about firewalls, adapters, clunky added gadgets and DOS. Ah well...never mind, then. Some go all the way with classy expensive programs and amazing graphics. I would remind people of an old adage called, "keeping costs down' and 'less is better.' Alright, 2 old adages. Point is, they don't interest me that much anyway, but I do find the usual stuff like PDF, Adobe and free anti-virus programs sufficient and well needed. A few newer software programs are nice, I'll grant that. I discovered flash drives and equipment like external hard drives long ago, so I'm not completely in the stone age, thank you.

  We have the fairly new Windows 8.1. Da-dah! H'mmm, I did try to love this BEFORE moving on, and like many, was kind of excited at first. But since this draft was first on the drawing board I've upgraded to Windows 10. Are there those here that feel it is an improvement? Regardless, I am definitely not a real fan of 8, though a few things appear to of improved in 10. I don't consider myself extremely savvy or technically sophisticated, you can clearly count me in for that skeptical movement;  and if asked, I generally use the newer versions of Firefox for added privacy and security, and Internet Explorer 11, finally more HTML5 compliant with hardware acceleration. I hesitate with the Chrome toolbar, though there are advantages to the speedy browser. In fact, there are almost too many browser types to become familiar with anymore. They also managed  to implement the Do Not Track service, mostly to keep up with Firefox. I am yet to use Maxthon, though it has good reviews for night viewing and compatibility.

   Anyway, I was upgrading from the dreaded, but beloved, XP back in early 2015. At least I upgrade when it is absolutely necessary, when there is no choice in the matter. I was so 'use to it' and the thorny little diagnostics needed to keep it in decent shape were an exercise in patience, geek forum instruction and memory, that does contain hidden dividends, you know. OK,  just being slightly testy and defensive, and you probably noted that.

   Have you ever experienced the following senario? I actually fixed a rebuilt computer once, Hewitt-Packard? (Why am I using a question mark? Again.). Um, I was made rather nervous when a tech at a nearby outlet strongly advised me to 'bring it in' or otherwise 'you'll be sorry' giving the non-reassuring and alarming advice that 'you won't be able to fix it' , especially 'All ON  YOUR  OWN' ! The barely veiled threats were replete with the image of blown circuitry, burnt plastic, melted keyboard, temper tantrums, horrible hacking, root kit troubles and so forth not to be contemplated by a sane human being. So, I took the insulting, rude challenge very seriously and put in the indefatigable and herculean effort of trying everything and slowly narrowing it down, (saving some money too),  and did it anyway. How about that, buddy! And so, with the extra software I practically demanded, I can pompously say I patched the problems up MYSELF and it ran for another whole year or so. Maybe it wasn't really worth the effort, BUT I was thrilled that I managed the achievement. You'd have to use your imagination here toward the extent of the damage and viruses involved, what a mess! But you get the picture.

  Enough about computers! I say that reluctantly.

 Various Excuses and Analogies in a weak attempt to entertain my more restless, discerning visitors:

  I am running ever so slightly behind on polishing a few posts for future upload. My choice is narrowed down to four, that's right, four and two are most likely. Nothing really drastic, it never is. Sooo...while you wait, am attempting something entertaining for your distinct benefit, however humble and insignificant it may really turn out to be. I am simply unwinding right now with a wine cooler and chocolate chip cookies, oddly enough.

  It is sort of likened to a doctor or dentist office, (but much more pleasantly!), though I do caution, the wait may be much longer. HERE, you just can't beat this. Come back more often, very cheap rates, stay as long as your heart desires, speak your mind any amount you wish, well, after the comments are cleared with admin - (me, of course),  and leave quicker, if you so wish. No vehicles required, no uncomfortable prodding and gowns to wear either. You make your own appointments at the History Doctor. I can recommend knowledgeable colleagues ans specialists, if you don't find the help you want. What a bargain! No psychological couch in sight, as I won't go that far; you're on your own there. There are no nasty prescriptions or bad news to take back to your husband, wife or children, only a supplement to your education and it's all a fascinating journey. You wouldn't want that kind of professionalism from yours truly, the danger might be too great, alright? You've been summarily and unnecessarily warned.

Now notice the little hints of notes and letters that are a permanent display, or maybe you shouldn't look that closely. Well, now, I didn't say to look at the dust! (Is that cat hair too?) Or to call it 'junk', it's not exactly, just sort of 'cluttered' and a bit messy, is all. Anyway, that's some idea what my hard drive folders look like, except they are much more of a maze and the hellish confusion more deeply hidden--- * argh and gasp #. There is no maid in sight, (where did she go? oh another one quit because of our demanding schedule). I don't worry about the place being spotless and spic and span, I'm afraid. Tsk, tsk. The occasional upkeep simply must suffice. Not comparable to some of the wonderful and majestic homes with spacious manicured lawns you see from your Facebook friends and acquaintances that clean, shine and rid up constantly. I think these persons upload such a bulk of photos and intrepid videos, (no I won't name names), partly because they are ONLINE. It isn't all that bad at my place really. Hell, maybe it's worse. I am a bachelor, understood?! Alright then, now that we've gotten that straight.

   Well, a little exaggeration does make for a better 'gabby' blog post, one would suppose. Take it easy, I'm just having a bit of fun for a change. Now you realize why the posts are usually fairly normal and spot on!


Some Rambling and Petty Complaints bordering on venting:

The lamp came from when I moved from an apartment in Connellsville in 2005 and they sold me the furnishings for a pittance. Then I moved fairly fast to Ruffsdale to a trailer court. That was because a lawyer from Washington, D. C. bought the apartment complex and wanted to raise the rent and do visitations whenever she felt like it. My lawyer, (God hopefully rest his soul), was puzzled with the lease, it was a real doozy, believe you me. Basically claiming myself as the party responsible for everything, including the furnace, and shoveling the sidewalks while I lived on the third floor! I ended up leaving much behind on the most recent move, even a bulky air conditioner, as it was just more convenient not to box so many odds and ends I somehow gathered over 15 years, seemingly willy nilly, including a really comfy leather chair that was too big for where I was moving to.

  A small amount of items around for sentimentalism were from an unnamed female work friend from the late 90's that, still to this day, owes me exactly $1190 that was borrowed in installments with startling promises made no matter that I treated her very well and even still talked to her right up until she started telling me the many things I must do with my life; how I need someone to 'grow old with' no matter who or what qualities this theoretical female would exhibit; that I probably should talk to her own mom, about 'things', huh ? (who, by the way, is getting disabled benefits yet, in the time I knew her, never acted like her back bothered her at all. Ah, she was on the Dart ball team too), ,All too well reminding me of the not so good old days. Hey, I was counting it up; obviously for good reasons and how pathetic she was and, probably IS. Don't worry, I will not tell you about her alcoholic sister who had a 13 year old daughter when I lived in Greensburg. I just won't do it to you! But, wait: or of a pretty oriental bank manager, first name Shana, sort of the old online dating thing, you know what I mean. Well, she lived in California and through instant messages soon insisted she loved me and told me if I ever rejected her it would be "traitorous 'in her book" ! Then she promptly began ignoring my conscientious messages or e-mails.

  This particular internet 'friend' had two psychiatrists, murderous dreams, (she was committing them herself), told me to 'keep checking her profile' only to discover various hardcore porn references and chat rooms, (a long time ago, your right),  and that she was 'coming out', then promptly told me I was being nosy by pointing it out, while she strongly wanted me to fly with her to Disney World! Nope, I won't subject you to all that either, and you just can't make that stuff up folks. Well, if you are possessed of a greater imagination than I, you might be able to, but WHY would anyone insist on doing such a strange thing?  I am sure I got off easy on that one while living way over here in Pennsylvania. These happenings were fewer and farther between that it may sound like. Some day I'll ramble about my good experiences with more normal people; but that could get a little boring and we don't want that.

  This was a quick rundown of my own deservedly forgotten personal history.This is NOT indicative of much of my more normal life events and circumstances.

  Do I still hold out hopes for another maniac to associate with? One that either slowly coaxes your hard earned money from your pocket, or maybe a girl that could decide to knife you to little pieces in bed? To look at it in one way, I feel I've had my share. Most people do fine with all their personal situations, some, well, they just get crazier. Have you noticed this kind of experience?

  Now, I am absolutely comfortable having friends of both sexes, please don't take this the wrong way. These were experiences that took place once upon a time in a interpersonal galaxy long, long ago, and will most likely not happen ever again. Everyone knows there are two sides to every story and all that. Mine is the correct one, please understand. Sorry, that part wasn't very entertaining, but it was true to the letter. The last diatribe was ALMOST left out and you could be thinking, we sure wish it was. BUT...

   I've somehow managed to have some great relationships and am thankful for those. I have never gotten use to moving, or renting moving vans and all that, no matter if I did it every six months. Also, I threw out a bunch of clothes, even if it was a slight rip or little stain, that was a good excuse to toss out most of those sweaters and sports jackets. Enough about moving, right? Disney World had to wait, and the lamp is fairly nice, ah, from my first real apartment. Well, compared to an unreal apartment. Alright. Life is good. You were entertained or at least amused and bemused by the stories if this is to be admitted.

 The other stuff:

 The old computer hutch is from my brother many moons ago when I kept my first expensive computer at his house for convenience while I...moved and didn't take it with me for some time. Do very many of you all remember Windows 95, 98, 2000 and ME ? Well, the old hutch was almost left behind when I moved at the beginning of 2014, but decided to take it along and I'm not sure why I agreed to keep it or why I even mentioned this at all.

  There are various memorabilia, items as Christmas gifts and souvenirs from trips around here, as well. That is a miniature Eiffel tower from Paris and a statue of a knight too:


  The Pan Am airplanes are from 1987 from Pittsburgh to New York and back on a leg with Aer Lingus to Ireland for a 15 day tour. Sometimes I break out the Ireland sweatshirt from the mothballs on St. Patrick's Day. Yep, I managed to find the money back in those heady and youthful prosperous times. No big deal. I think I enjoy the knightly stuff because it is rusting faster than me, and the fact I was a voracious reader of Arthurian books when I was a teenager. OK. By the way, I had the second best dart ball average most of the time at the local Eagles, something I use to be, rather oddly conceited about. That was where I had won the rather cheap little guy from.  Valuable stuff. Well, some of it is obviously not THAT valuable. IF there ever is a blog about European travel, say a travelogue from the 80's, well, you'll be the first to hear all about the details from those heady and active days.

An uncalled for aside of varying meaning:

  I am a Christian y'all, a truth I don't bother to hide no more than I would a form of patriotism as an American. I have great respect for tradition and yet, am not the most traditionally, provincially minded person out there. We're all different, just to be a bit philosophical about it. We're not suppose to be the same, are we? So I don't mind being myself and you shouldn't either and so, there are crosses around the house which I happen to favor. Thank you very much.

  If you're NOT religious or even patriotic, (geez, shame on you!), that's sort of your business in the long run. If you are and it is a private matter, you can elect to keep it that way. I don't personally agree one's beliefs should be kept under a bushel kind of thing. God knows, I need some spiritual guidance and protection. The Bible is an extremely fascinating book on different levels, including the theological perspectives, and I might add, have read it through more than once. Enough said.

  Spot an ashtray? Surely you didn't actually see... oops I thought that was well hidden away. Really I am trying to quit with electronic ones and an occasional puff. Please don't attack me mercilessly folks, it's not heroin or crack! No one is perfect, except you know Who. At least I hid the whiskey bottles and handcuffs; yes, I am really  kidding now! Now isn't this the kind of post you find fairly often and sometimes wonder why you are sitting there taking it all in? This happens even more frequently on Facebook, you know that, don't you?

  I do own a few valuable things, though not many. They are not in this room and some are not here in this vicinity. Neither are my pool trophies, or trumpet from the high school band, or...all under heavy and complicated lock and key in my lead bunker 12 feet under ground, of course watched over by part-time security guards, and with guns, large, dangerous ones. Or, in a safe deposit box, got that?! Good. I am being slightly facetious. How much you might ask? If you really care, it's best let's leave it to guess work. I would only state this is not the best place to come straggling in the wee hours for freebies that aren't tied or bolted down.

  Steelers, Penquins and Pirates are an interest. No more than being a normal sports enthusiast; anyway, I hate it too much when my team up and loses. I am not into every score, trade and statistic, however tiny, just a basic understanding of the moves and calls, key players and watching the games being played out and routing for the home team. Sometimes screaming loudly, especially when there is 'cheating' going on! Uh-huh. I only related this as I don't believe I'm obsessed with too many things. Alright, regional history, you've got me there. That is putting it nicely.

  I do admire old knives, swords and daggers, though I don't own many old ones; just a small collection mostly made up of reproductions. How many of us can afford the genuine article? Looking very closely, there is one in the corner of the first photo.


  I have a few of my mostly old, moldy oil paintings 'hanging around' from the old days when I had to escape the smooth talkers and unstable girls with nightmares for some quiet time. This one was very early, I think from the 1980's and borders on amateurish. The ones still within sight are mostly landscapes, and my Mom had a few she was really fond of. Been there a long time from the days before the Laurel Art Club. There's a plug for them, you know. (Your welcome!). There is actually another plug on the earliest Braddock Road post where I went to the old Mennonite cemetery. Have you noticed that? Let's see a show of hands! Ah...never mind then. Another painting hangs in the living room. I guess it is in the same spot on the wall because my mom liked it, as she cherished the few florals I painted for her, so why move it?

  Is it necessary for more photos of me?

  Finally, that is a pic taken against my will, kicking and dragging and biting... no, not really and this could mildly interest a few curious folks that desperately NEED and WANT to see my face.


   I know another blogger who has been online for more than ten years and he only now gave an interview and a clear photo of himself to the public, though it is fair to state, he had his stalkers to contend with. That's what I would call being very private. The quality of this photograph is somewhat questionable, but you must understand, this is important to keep my shy, retiring image continually vague and mysterious. Often I generally choose not to be too highly placed where it belongs, so that my amazing, though shy personality and encyclopedic intellect, wit and wisdom do not interfere with the normal operation of a rather bland, but never drab, historical website. Could you fall for such shenanigans? I hope not.

   On a serious note, I do trust the visitors are smart and observant enough to have no misunderstandings comprehending all that is written here. It's that simple. And, to be pretty honest and out front with you, my intentions are partly to keep you from discovering just how very mundane much of  my routine really is. Now the secret is out for all to know. The other parts of my life may not be quite this mundane..  A personal preference of mine. Although if you click on the link to the Heritage Festival at Mt. Vernon from last year, there are photos of yours truly. Enough said.

Part of a cluttered poem:

   Sighing in the mist of the quiet, early hushed morning, as the diamond dew sparkles more loudly; I take a lasting swill of my imported coffee from the jeweled and fabled cup, pausing to finally remove my white gloves and gold neck tie,  gazing thoughtfully at a Victorian poem of Wordsworth in green shadow to my right, the aromatic hint of thunder congeals in the odor of beans and the dawning gray light flecked with red and orange, tearing away memories like paper thin leaves as I lie down under a tree of walnut to dream or to awake..etc.

   Here is a shot of what is behind my nook, and a part of it with a small library, mostly of my parents and some holiday stuff we don't really know what else to do with yet. (Actually, I decided this would bore you so much, I just left it out!)  There are a few bookcases with lots of different types of reading material in the back room and I know how to use them! Really, I've always loved books. Much of our reading these days, is done on the internet or Kindle; a great advantage in these digital times. Personally, I wish there was more room for access to had actual,  physical ones that were more valuable in the monetary sense. That's alright, the content is what's so important.

  That's probably more than you should be aware of, or you may rather desire to be informed about! OK, so you may gather I am not the most open person with my daily Facebook and Twitter fixes. Certainly I have a Facebook membership of course. (WHO DOESN'T?!) I don't really need to be constantly uploading photos from my newest smart phone or IPad. I do have my history blog and, for me, with a couple other hobbies thrown in, that is basically enough. Consider yourself more informed about old Histbuffer. That should do it for another few months...or maybe even years.

A Very Small, But Much Needed Perspective:

  Yes, there are unicorns, rare airplanes, a fancy sword in the corner, as I am partial to a medieval outlook in rare moments; a castle as a gift from Blarney in Ireland...etc. Guess I come across as a mystical idealist. I'll hope for this much.

 With a straight face here, I confess that it is with strong emotions I regret my parents and others  weren't alive to see this website. The surprise on their faces could of been quite a special sight and I'm positive they both would've heartily approved at the modest success it has seen in the last two and a half years of service and dedication. What advice they could of given me too! Just maybe the words of wisdom would include not to attempt too many normal blog posts. Lol.

   I think most people would agree I've branched out quite a bit since starting the blog in late 2014, yes, with my father then my mother passing in the first half of that somber year.  Count them. Three whole years after their deaths. I have moved locations with various issues on my former dwelling-various issues with my present habitation; I have changed jobs in the middle of last year, and have many minor concerns, like health care on different fronts, further adventures in historical research, and...too much else on an even smaller scale to relate, really. So in the scheme of things I may of missed out on a few opportunities and struggled briefly with changes as I wrote up blog posts. All in all, I may be humoring myself when I say that I feel I've done fairly well. One has to grow, even if this takes place on a slower level as I would of chosen under other circumstances. We can't have everything exactly the way we want it, can we? Some of you have also grown with me. Some having very little to do with me, certainly in any personal way. I hope that time has been good to you and there has been an even mixture of curiosity and fascination toward the readership of Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History as a minor or, on a rarer note, possibly major part of your own lives.

   I know, sincerely, I've had immense enjoyment providing visitors with a stream of veritable history. Looking forward to more great regional stuff.

  An Overly Melodramatic Final Goodbye:

   We'll see you soon. You've heard more about me than you should of, huh? So, bye!

   Oops, what's the beef, not catchy enough? Crap...

  Try this: If by chance I'm not wearing a disguise, we might get lucky and meet in person, who knows? Most likely to fall immediately in love and travel on your money to Switzerland to have a madly wild and somewhat depraved honeymoon while I quickly find a rare medical excuse to slip away to meet some old colleagues in Stresa, Italy for a rousing time at an exclusive nightclub. But then, you'd probably notice my peg leg and buck teeth, glass eye and weird twitch, so maybe I'll deny admitting who I am, mumble my apologies and claim to be the third son of a rajah or the distant relative of Odin. An obscure but extremely interesting, sensitive, yet powerful and influential inside trader and all around international playboy. Just for a second you'll fall for it, right?!

   Nah. See, it just wouldn't work out.

   Now it's time to head back to the shadows and the security of a secluded paneled den with a favorite potpourri and hidden doorways and secret stairs leading to the real strangeness of ...The Attic, (see what happens when people expect too interesting a blog?), for more research for upcoming posts.

   Please check back.

   Not to pull a tooth or a medical miracle, or even about my somewhat drab sheltered nook where there is ever so much musing, a glass of red wine and staring out at the flowers around the hedge, and that's about all. More mundane and normal in contrast with my earlier times. Here I am a pretty fair amount of the time, to carefully prepare another relation of our fascinating regional historical background, in this, our heritage in Fayette, Westmoreland, and the surrounding counties of southwestern Pennsylvania.

                If anyone must see a close friend of the female persuasion that is a dear part of my life...well alright then. Below is a photo of my fourteen year old Mascot, Gypsy, quite a character in her own right:


   Thanks again for reading along and indulging me a while in catching a peek at the other side of things! I relished every minute of it.  
See ya soon for the next post!

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