Leisure/Hobbies

If you enjoy any of these leisure time activities, or have similar hobbies and are interested in exchanging ideas or related experiences, feel free to make contact and drop me a note. I'm always open to chat; maybe new places to rollerblade, new sites to search genealogy information, or some cool CMS that seems to be emerging.

Bruce Trail Hiking

CMS and WebTool Deployments

Canoe Tripping and Interior Camping

Curling

Genealogy Research and Publishing

 Genealogy has been a fascination of mine for 25 years.  The last few years have seen an explosion of services providing on-line access to digitized and transcribed records of all sorts.  This includes census records, birth, marriage, and death records, immigration, and ship passenger lists.  There are many great sites that provide free access to these records, primarily from the efforts of volunteers, and there are many great services with a "fee per view" structure.

My Genealogy Site is found at genealogy.mcfadyen.ca and is the published work of a large portion of my research.  Although I have published many images and records, the vast majority of my records, articles, documents, and photos have yet to be published in a public forum.

When I hear someone say, "Oh ya, I did my genealogy tree years ago." I am amazed that they were able to complete the effort.  My research seems to be never ending.  There is always one more branch to explore just a little bit further.

If you are interested in starting your family tree, or have been doing so, but are interested in a few more links to free resources, checkout my Genealogy links page.

If you have been collecting your data in a desktop genealogy program and are looking to publish on a website, you can not go wrong with a product like Darrin Lythgoes' The Next Generation of Genealogy SiteBuilding.  Darrin has a large well established community of users, developers, and researchers.  His product source is open to all product owners and continues to be actively supported by several developers, myself included.

If you own this product and have not yet been introduced to the many add-on features that have been developed or the on-line community documentation, you should check out the TNG Wiki, and Forum.

 

Free Genealogy Resources I use regularly

There are many good on-line genealogy resources, especially if you are willing to spend money for access.   Although I have not renewed yet this year, Ancestry.com is an extremely good resource, albeit expensive. 

If you are want to start out or continue your research using some of the many free resources, and you have ancestors in Canada and especially Ontario, then the following ideas and links should prove very useful as a first step.

 

  1. PAF_logo_sml.jpgConsider recording your data and notes in a Desktop Genealogy Program.  PAF is a probably the best free desktop program, download it from here!
  2. Talk to any living relatives you have, check to see if they have already done some research that you can access
  3. Use the existing search engines link Google and Bing to see if there may already be research available, remember: concentrate your searches on ancestors that are no longer living since most researchers do not publish information on the living
  4. Gov_Archives.jpgCensus Canada 1851-1911 - Canadian Census records and images
  5. Government of Canada - Home Children, Military Records, and Land Claims and many others 
  6. Ontario_Marriage_Reg_sml.jpgOntario - Marriage Indicies
  7. Census Canada 1851, 1901, 1906, 1911 AutomatedGenealogy.com - To be used in conjunction with the above
  8. FamilySearch_sml.jpgCensus 1881 Canada, USA and England 1880-1881 Census plus IGI records and others
  9. Ontario Records Indicies - OGSPI
  10. FreeBMDStamp.gifCensus, Marriage, Birth, Death indicies in the UK - FreeBMD
  11. OurRoots_sml.jpgLocal History Books - Searchable Online
  12. Cemetery Records - Australia
  13. ocfa98_sml.jpgOntario Cemetery Finding Aid

 

Reading

Rollerblading

Waterfront Path 3.jpgRollerblading has been both a favourite form of exercise and a great way to clear my head.  I started blading sometime in '96 and it seems I have continued to slowly increase my distance and frequency of my excursions.  Although one would probably consider roller blading a reasonably safe activity, I can vouch for the fact that my record has been about one significant fall about every year and a half despite the fact that I consider myself reasonably skilled at blading (if perhaps a little aggressive).  That includes losing significant patches of skin to the pavement, and an injured rotator-cuff when attempting to stop quickly to avoid an indecisive motorist.  Fortunately I have always worn full gear and a helmet or those falls would have been significantly more painful and long lasting.

Living in Burlington Ontario has afforded me many great places that are open for rollerblading some distances and there are many Lake Ontario waterfront areas that maintain long sections of smooth pavement that you can share with the pedestrians and cyclists.

Waterfront Path 1.jpgAlthough I have bladed on many surfaces, including paths, sidewalks, roads, and large parking lots, I gave up the roadways a couple of years ago when even my 6:30am outings were becoming challenging with motorists at intersections.  I almost exclusively now rollerblade on the longer, wider, maintained pedestrian paths.  My favourite for the last couple of years has been the Watefront Trail that stretches from Burlington Beachway Park, along the Hamilton Beach Trail to Stoney Creek.  Check out the maps here.  If you want to avoid the lift bridge, you can still blade almost 8.4km in one direction from the lift bridge to Grays Road.  Skate that 4 times from end to end, starting about 6:30am and you may pass me a few times during the nice weather on a weekend, or later in the evening during the week.

Waterfront Path 2.jpgThe pictures here are this Waterfront trail as I was blading one morning this summer. The most enjoyable aspect of this trail is the very early morning outings when I can watch the sunrise over the lake out across the beach while I blade to the sound of favourite music.

 

Rollerblading Equipment and Info

I see all kinds of equipment and gear, or lack of gear being worn while rollerblading.  Over the years my most significant falls have been twice when I was standing almost still, on a slope, and while distracted.  I am quite sure that on either of those occasions, had I not been wearing a helmet, I would no longer be rollerblading.

My normal gear consists of recreational skates:

  • Rollerblade Crossfire 6, with 90mm wheels, and TPS closure system.
  • At my last bearing change, I installed a set of Bones Super REDs.
  • Kneepads, wrist guards, and Helmet.
  • MP3 player with music at a beat to match my speed

Odd Stats:

  • Wheel rotation about every 200km
  • New set of wheels about every 700-800km, they are usually worn down to about 80mm by then.
  • Bearings removed and cleaned about every 2nd or 3rd wheel rotation
  • New brake pad at about every wheel set change
  • average blading speed: 21-23 km/hr (recreational skaters: 10-16 km/hr, typical speed skaters will pass me at about 25-27 km/hr)
  • typical distance per outing:  33 km
  • have replaced many boot rivets with Chicago fasteners over the last year due to rivet failures
  • the TPS tightening system, although excellent in use and concept, had to be replaced after about 1400km of use
  • my average summer skating distance based upon weather and time has been 1000-1200km
  • This set of Crossfire 6 rollerblades will like only last about 2200km
    • the TPS tightening mechanism is continuing to cut into the boot shell and will eventually split it (mostly cut through now)
    • the boot ankle tightener/fastener is plastic and will soon become unserviceable
    • most of the boot shell rivets have failed and have been replaced

Causes of Falls:

  • 2 occasions of standing still on a slope and having my feet slide out, resulting in landing on my back and head (years ago now).  Protected by my helmet.
  • 1 occasion where a small dog unexpectedly darted from a grassed area across the sidewalk to the boulevard in front of me.  Despite seeing me approach, the dog owner failed to lock the extension leash as a precaution.  The leash left a significant welt across my neck as I unsuccessfully tried to slide under it.
  • 1 occasion where light gravel buildup along the center of a T intersection resulted in a loss of control while navigating the curve.  Fortunately I landed/slid onto a grass boulevard, minimal loss of skin.
  • 1 occasion where a small piece of gravel on a sidewalk lodged in my left front wheel.  When your front wheel locks at over 18km/hr, there is only one place you are going to end up.  Lost most of the skin on my forearm that trip.
  • while approaching an intersection, the third car in line failed to signal his right turn.  I was approaching the same intersection via sidewalk and to stop in time, I reached my arm out to a lamp standard.  Rotator-cuffs do not like that kind of motion... several months before regaining full mobility in that joint.
  • 2 near misses - while rollerblading on roads in the summer, strict attention must be paid to crossing the tarred pavement cracks at perpendiculars.  On two occasions I have almost spilled by failing to cross these obstacles at the correct angle.
  • 1 occasion when I chose to skate with a friend, and not being used to pair skating, my skate made contact with his at just the wrong time resulting in tripping and sliding on the pavement.
  • 1 extremely painful (and lasting) injury resulting from late fall rollerblading and sliding on a small patch of wet leaves

 

 

Software Development for TNG Genealogy Software

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