Lumpkin Family Reunion

Last weekend, Deb’s and I went to King and Queen Co. with my dad and other family members for the 60th annual family reunion. It was held at Upper King and Queen Co Baptist Church, and the second one I have ever been to. The actual reunion was a dud – we didn’t know a soul there other than close family – but some decent food!

This church itself was quite interesting. The church was built in sometime in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s, but existed in the 1770’s. We walked around the core of the sanctuary, and I took a few pictures. Its only about 45 minutes from Richmond, and wasn’t to hard to find either. While I didn’t remember it, I had been to this church easily 20 years ago when my grandpa died. My Grandpa (who died of MS) as well as my great-grandpa and great-grandma (who died in the early 1950’s) are both buried here, as well as many close family ties over the years (even though many of us have been in the Richmond-metro area well over 50 years.

I had anticipated going up there and meeting a bunch of people I had never known but have a connection with and seeing what we can do, especially online. That did not end up being the case. While there was a WIDE range of ages there, it was funny that only a few people had an email address (heck, even some people wrote in the book ‘i don’t know what that is!’). I was hoping to get even more people on to a service like Geni.com, but oh well.

After eating there was a rather interesting (at least to me) talk from a family member, who published a book of the family in the early 1990’s. The day before celebrated the 300th anniversary of the death of the first ‘Lumpkin’ in the US, who was buried not to far from the church. We also learned about a few cool connections of our family to historic features like Carter Braxton and Patrick Henry. Carter Braxton not only lived in the same location as Jacob Lumpkin later on (Newington), but also had great-grandparents that were Lumpkins. Carter Braxton was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence for VA. We also found out (though the details are rough), that a member of the Lumpkin family married Patrick Henry’s daughter, Anne.

After the talk, we ended up taking a walk through the graveyard mentioned above. My dad and his brothers and one of his sisters were talking about everyone they knew buried there, and connections to many of the families that were in this yard. It was actually fun trying to remember ‘wow, I was here 20 years ago, do I remember anything?’

I have uploaded the rest of the pictures to Flickr, so please check them out!

Listening To: ‘You’re the good things’ by Modest Mouse

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Field Day of the Past and Glen Allen Day

I love festivals, and this weekend was the beginning of some Fall festivals. The state fair starts in a week or so, and so all the local towns around Richmond throw their yearly festivals.

We started Saturday off with going to Glen Allen day, and I hate to say it, but it was a dud. We waited in traffic for 20 minutes on Mountain Road, to finally get in and park. I took a few pics of the car show going on before walking up to the main part of Glen Allen day. All it ended up being was a bunch of people and tents along the sidewalk leading up to the house at Meadow Farm. We saw a few people we knew, played with a few of the puppies up for adoption, and then walked up to the house. Towards the back they had the usual over priced food, and even more tents. After about being there for 30 minutes, we decided we had already had enough and it was time to go.

We actually ended up spending nearly 2 hours at Field Day of the Past. This event has EXPLODED in the past years, and was quite a bit of fun to go to this year. I ended up taking nearly 150 pictures, most of them being of the old engines/cars/farm equipment that was there. We had a blast, and got pretty sore walking ALL over the place.

I uploaded some images today. You can check out Glen Allen Day as well as Field Day of the Past. I plan on actually taking some of the FDotP images and prepping them for print as well, maybe even in Black and White.

OMG wherez mah moniez LOLZ!

All this stock market and overall economy is making people crazy. I have never been overly-worried, but now you have everyone up in arms about everything thats happening almost daily now. This week starts off with large investment brokers closing, the government bailing out yet another company, and more. Ive stayed mostly hands off, other than looking at some stocks, and now – wishing I had made a move.

I actually had a comment earlier this week on an article I wrote about moving some money into E-trade. The comment was asking me how I felt about keeping my money there in a crisis like this. It was funny, because about 10 minutes before I got the comment email, Debs and I were talking about if we should move money out or not. I don’t want to be like everyone and pull my money out and hide it under my mattress, but I also don’t want to loose it either. We are going to keep it in E-trade for now, mainly since it wasn’t all that much to begin with. Ive actually contemplated some LONG LONG term investments with what we do have in there.

Nate called me Thursday mentioning that our Genworth friends may have to look for jobs soon – their stock PLUMMETED. It got down to almost $3 a share. But because I didn’t set up my trading account yet, I didn’t buy then. I wish I did – right now, they are 13.97 a share. I could have well over gotten a 400% return. I KNEW I should have bought then, but just blew it off. The year high has only been about $25 a share. While thats less than the gold I was buying – its still not as good of a return as I could have seen. But time will tell – maybe buying at the $14 mark, over time this could be a good investment (note – im not a pro, dont trust my investment sense – i just like watching trends and finding a good deal).

Overall, I think John Gruber, of Daring Fireball, one of my favorite Apple-ish blogs, said it best

Who the hell would have ever thought that ‘profesionall weblogger’ would be a more stable job than ‘Lehman Brothers investment banker?

In the end, I’m not worried, yet…

Listening To: ‘Taking Back Control’ by Sparta

My interview is now online!

On a work related note, I was recently interviewed by the Associated Cities, a domain network that we are a part of at work. You can read the interview on their site.

I was asked about two weeks ago and finished putting together my answers over the weekend. Just moments after receiving my copy through the mailing list, I ended up getting a few emails from people all over the world on our list thanking me for taking the time to respond and even asking some questions! I think thats pretty cool 🙂

Quick Update

Things have been a little busy lately, trying to get a whole lot of things done around the house and at work. I have a few blogs I have been working on, but they just aren’t ready to publish yet. Otherwise, there has been very little going on…

  • I would like to welcome my parents to modern technology. My Mom and Stepdad finally joined the ‘HD revolution’ yesterday. Not one, but two hi-def displays, that I have had a blast picking out, setting up, and teaching them. I call myself FireSquad GeekDog.
  • Life on Playstation came out today, and its pretty cool. Its a mix of the Weather/News apps on the Wii, but obviously in 1080p goodness. Its just a fancy globe (with the right day/night overlay) pulling RSS feeds from Google News. 
  • Twitter.com got a cool redesign, and now the web interface is even nicer (to me). Some people don’t like that search is at the bottom, but it doesn’t matter to me – I don’t use it. 
  • My PC finally died. It still KINDA works, but not really. The second primary HDD this year. Anyone have a SMALL IDE drive they want to donate to the cause? I made a VM of the machine, but I want to rebuild it FINALLY as a real media center/file server. 
  • This weekend is Field Day of the Past and Glen Allen Day. We may go to one or the other – Usually a great time to get some cool shots of people. 
  • Glad all my money is out of stocks right now, but pissed I didnt buy Genworth today when it was down to $3something a share. I could have tripled my earnings today alone. 

Platform Wars

Arguing on the Internet is just stupid, and of course one of the longest on-going arguments on the internet is ‘My OS is better than your OS’. Of course when I started as a Mac user, no one wanted to say they were a Mac user :). Now you have fanboys that cant help but rub it in your face that they use a Mac. And quite honestly, you have the same amount of people on the PC side that still think Apple is going to go under any day now, or that they are some type of elitist because they haven’t made the ‘switch’.

Being a multi-platform user, this ‘argument’ just doesn’t make sense to me. The computer, and its operating system, is just a utility/tool/device. Just like your toaster, or your fridge, or your car, or your phone (oh wait..). Obviously people have preferences about the tools they like, and this is especially the case in autos (I used to never want a non-American auto, but now, I never want to buy American again). Its funny to watch flame wars happen on various forums, twitter, and even in person.

Maybe I look at the conmputer differently – as an open platform for me to express myself as I see fit, and then choose the appropriate tools (Mac, PC, whatever) to help me accomplish what I need to do. While Im an AVID Mac fan – Im not tied to Apple. In all honesty, Im actually getting sick and tired of Apple’s failing quality control and failure to address flaws in a timely mannor (or even tell us whats going on).

I don’t know what sparked this post, and originally, wasn’t going to even post it. But I just find it odd from various places I have seen online for people to ‘blindly follow’ a brand in some cases, just becasue ‘its the right thing to do’. A perfect example will be tomorrow. Apple (and Microsoft) have an event. Im in the market for a new small iPod, so Im excited for what Apple may release. But im also hoping they can fix our phones…

Google Chrome – Its just another browser!

For those who don’t know, Google released its first entry into the web browser arena, Google Chrome. Right now its only available for Windows, with Linux and Mac clients on the way (they actually have one of the developers of Camino on board working on the Mac port).

Obviously the twitterverse/blogospehere went up in arms about ‘WTF, no Apple port now, comeon, google!’. My response – who cares? Those who know me (and those that dont who read this blog should know), im a huge Mac fan, and have been a Mac user for almost 15 years. Im SURE that 95% of the people complaining have used a mac for LESS than 5 years.

Chrome is nice, and I like it. Its pretty fast, and a lot faster than IE, Firefox, and Safari on my work laptop. I havent tried installing it on my Vista VM at home – theres no use. I havent switched over to it yet as a full time brower, but I have used it for a few hours straight to replace FF as my normal browser.

The technolgy behing the platform is amazing. A new VM for Java, Gears installed and working by default, each tab has its own memory block, and more. The best yet, its open source. Google KNOWS they live on the internet, and built a tool to operate with the web today, not the web its competitors have been working with in previous years. This alone, is brilliant.

I hope for this browser to go far and do well. And I hope when it has its first good round of updates, i may even look into swtiching over to it as a full time browser. For those who want to mess with bleeding edge tech, i recomend you checking it out. But for those of you who really dont care (they just know the internet is that little E thing on their desktop), its honestly not worth checking out.

Finally, I will be posting soon about my feeling with the whole Browser/OS/Phone platform wars soon. Its funny how people get so built up about their platform being the king of all, when your just using another device.

Listening To: ‘What They Do’ by The Roots