The End May be Near

While “The End May be Near” can be seen as a somewhat inflammatory title it might also be closer to the truth than I care to think, for the purposes of this website I mean. I feel as if someone nefarious is looking over my shoulder.

I continue to work on troubleshooting and problem solving this website, sklapsky.ca. I frequently receive dire warnings from my domain host about the problems my site is causing to others on the host, much like a bully in a schoolyard. Except I am not the bully, and the problems are not of my making (I don’t think).

The problems, whatever they are, have been putting excessive load on my domain host. They, the host, are the folks allowing you to see sklapsky.ca on the internet. The short answer is that if I cannot fix “the problem” I may have to delete this site, so it will no longer be on the ‘net. From that point I can quit and fold my hand, or I can find a way to rebuild and continue on. Please, wish me/us luck.

Other Stuff

On another note, I believe I mentioned I was helping another family member research her history. I talked a bit about it in Better Late than Never!. Tanya, the cousin somewhat removed, is looking for a connection to the Sluchinski family for her Father. He was adopted at a young age but his Mom was a ‘Sluckinski’, or ‘Sluchinski’, and Tanya would like to make sure he has the opportunity to know his kin. I want to help her in that regard as well.

She has found some potential cousins using the DNA feature of Ancestry (a genealogical program and website). I have attempted to assist by taking her information and using it to search for other possible connections, a tie-in to her Sluckinski/Sluchinski heritage.

So far we have a link to Roman Sluchinski but that’s where the trail runs cold from my perspective. I can’t find a connection to the other Sluchinski clan from there, and I’m sure there is one. In fact a booklet I received on a Sluchinski Family reunion mentions Roman and implies he is another son of Nicholas (Nickolas) Sluchinski but for the life of me I can’t find a genealogical connection. It will come, trust me.

Cole’s Notes

I will continue to attempt to resolve this website issue. The alternatives aren’t really palatable to me. Working with Tanya will continue as well and I’m optimistic we’ll find the “ties that bind us”. In the meantime take heart, when I say “The End May be Near” I may only mean the end of this post. Take care and we’ll chat soon.

Internet Abuse, I’m Being ‘Hit’ Over and Over

As with all things our lives are a series of ups and downs. In this case, in the life of this website, we have seen extreme ‘ups’, that of a very high number of ‘hits‘, or people/things visiting sklapsky.ca. It’s tantamount to Internet abuse.

I mentioned this in the last post, the hits are not necessarily visits by people. They are in fact ‘hits’ by other computers or software that searches the internet called ‘bots‘ or web crawlers. It has come to my attention that this is an issue I need to resolve. I’m told this by my internet host, the company that allows me to show sklapsky.ca to you. The ‘hits’ have reached the point where they are impacting the operation of the host, causing a disproportionate use of resources by sklapsky.ca over that of other users.

This is something I’ve been working on for a while, the internet host (HostPapa) called me about 2-3 weeks ago with offers to sell me additional products to allegedly help me with this problem. This/that is not something that’s in the cards for me. I’d prefer to spend some of my (limited) time in resolving it rather than the cash I don’t have.

I tell you this for two reasons. One, if this website goes down (disappears) that may be the reason why. Two, I don’t post enough here and to maintain any presence at all the frequency of writing needs to significantly improve. This may happen as a matter of course, the summer is apparently over and there will likely be more genealogical ‘stuff’ taking place and with it an increase in an internet presence. Let’s see what time holds for us, shall we.

Bottom line I’m still here, I hope you are too. Take care, and as Spock said “Live long and prosper”.

Man the Turrets, We’re Under Attack

Well, it may not be a conscious attack but we appear to be under attack nonetheless.

I received a phone call from my hosting provider a few days ago. That in itself was a surprise but when he told me that my site (sklapsky.ca) was experiencing high levels of traffic, and that there may be a problem, he got my attention. In the worst case it may mean deleting the site and beginning again. Best case I may be able to do something relatively simple and mitigate the problem. It could be a virus, another problem within the site (software), or ????

Now, I appreciate you may not have, or want to have, any knowledge of website workings. Perhaps the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff is best left there, behind the scenes. But suffice it to say the site (sklapsky.ca) was seeing an inordinate number of “hits”, which is internet speak for the number of individual visits to the site. Those visits can be by human or computer, or a combination of both. Each hit uses computer power of the host, the company that provides the website ‘home’. Too many hits means that too many of the host’s resources are being used just to service the needs of one client. The host may have many thousands of clients, each demanding enough horsepower to service their needs.

In my/our case there were about 274,000 hits/visits in Aug.. That is very high, and much higher than normal for a site the size of this one. As a result the percentage of the host’s resources devoted to us were disproportionately high. It appeared we were under attack, from within or without. Unlikely they were visits by long-lost cousins, much as I’d wish. Time to put on my Sherlock hat.

Some research has led me to believe the assault is external, not a virus or anything internal to the site. That, at least, is good news. I suspect it is ‘spiders’ or ‘bots’, electronic visitors that map out your site for content. There can be thousands of spiders visit daily.

I’ve since put some things in place to hopefully reduce the effects of the attack. It’s my hope and plan that any additional, more significant, changes will not be required. Again the worst case is that the whole site will have to be taken down (erased) and built again. That’s a task I don’t relish, as you might imagine.

If I’ve manned the turrets appropriately the problem may go away. Let’s just hope we have enough ammo.

Better Late than Never!

As time passes I am once again reminded that this site is waiting patiently for an update, something from me to ensure its life continues as a viable organism, a blog with some potential and purpose.

The title “Better Late than Never” just seemed to fit, but what’s that quote’s origin? This from a quick Google search…..

Geoffery Chaucer appears to have been the first person to have put the proverb into print, in The Yeoman’s Prologue and Tale, Canterbury Tales, circa 1386:

For bet than never is late. [Better than never is late.]

Now that said and out-of-the-way we can move on……

I have been persisting in the genealogy realm, almost every day and/or night I’ve been doing something in this regard. Often it’s collecting old photos of family near and far. It’s my passion (the photos) and while I can’t explain it I’ve fallen to its lure and succumbed to its pull.

Of course the other research is being done as well, but I will admit here in front of God and country I’m one of the laziest genealogists in that I’ve yet to leave my chair in search of a real story, the real deal of family history. It is my failing, or one of them, and I’ll own it.

In addition to the ongoing Sklapsky research I’ve been drawn into a quest for information on a line possibly connected to the Sluchinski family. Two of my Great/Grand Uncles married Sluchinski girls, thus my interest, and I love a great mystery.

To that end I was contacted by a lady who knows of that connection, and she is in search of information on her Father’s family. Her Dad was adopted and given the name ‘Sluckinski’ (close to Sluchinski). She is on a mission to find his real family before too much time passes. I’ve caught her inquisitive bug and now also want to find whatever connection there might be. Being that I have Sluchinski in my line I feel drawn to help.

On my own home front we have survived our move to Kelowna and have settled quite nicely. We both love it here and feel quite content in our new digs. We see the g-kids almost daily and have found ourselves going back to work, out of retirement, at the daycare the g-kids go to. Maureen teaches pre-k (pre-kindergarten) and I do the after school pickup of kids who come to the daycare after school. Not quite the life of leisure but a good life nonetheless.

So, here’s snapshot of Madden on his 5th birthday, I apologize for the ‘no edit’ status. Had to be done.

The next one’s of Ivy, hamming it up. Refusing to eat her hotdog and instead using it for a moustache.

To wrap this up I’ll say I truly enjoy the hunt, the look for info and any connections that might be made. Sometimes I just wish it was a bit more fruitful.

Take care, and I’ll (hopefully) talk to you within the year.

Progress, I think

I’ve been progressing steadily in the family tree and have frequently shot off on tangents into the unknown. I’ve been into all facets of the family but most recently into the Federspiels, It’s just that I’ve come across a few family trees on Ancestry that have a wealth of info, and some of it pertains to the Sklapsky history. Specifically they had some photos of Lillie Mae Sklapsky Federspiel, most I’ve never seen. Thanks to Michael R. Federspiel for his contribution to our cause.

Fits and Starts

Well, the settling in to life in Kelowna continues and likely will for some time. I don’t know about you but it has always taken me a while to get fully settled after a move. We have made progress though, and each day we continue to fine tune our home. The ‘stuff’ we have though continues to overwhelm me at times.

I continue to work on the Family Tree, interspersed with tasks around the home and hanging out with Madden and Ivy. Fits and Starts would be a good way to describe it. That said though I have made some good progress and come across more family information. As of yet I have still not made that connection across the pond for the original Sklapsky in North America.

I have, however, made a connection in Maureen’s side of the family, a ‘first wife’ to her Grandfather that (as best I know) was not previously identified. It’s that kind of find that inspires and motivates me.

All good stuff.

Oh Baby, I’m Sooo Tired

If I ever decide to move again, of my own free will (ie without a court appointed incarceration), please remind me of this particular event. If we make it through this and the upcoming months it will be a miracle. That is if we make it without killing each other, or being killed. We could just pass away from exhaustion too I guess.

Now I say that with a bit of jest, and a tinge of exaggeration, but the moving out of our ‘old’ house portion of this exercise was something I’d care NOT to do again at least in the foreseeable future. Again, if it’s ‘of my free will’. If old age and senility takes over then all bets are off. It will be up to family to take up the challenge and put us somewhere safe.

We never in a million years would have believed that we have that much crap. And that’s after giving, dumping, and selling a bunch of non essentials. And it just seems to keep multiplying, like prolific rabbits.

At this point we have moved into our new home and have been here for about 7 weeks. I had begun writing this post at that time but you know, life got in the way.

Back to the junk……about 3 weeks after we took possession of the house we went back to Castlegar to pick up the rest of our belongings. We had moved in originally on May 3 with just the basics. Most of our worldly goods had been put into storage, into one of the 3 storage units we rented. Can you believe it, 3 stalls! In order to get it to our new place I rented a 26′ moving van in Kelowna and thought that would be enough to transport my sh**. WRONG! After all the van was advertised as being big enough for a 4 bedroom house. WRONG again, not my 4 bedroom house anyway. And that was without any appliances.

So the day came and we drove from Kelowna to Castlegar, went to the storage units and jammed everything from them into the van. You might think ‘jammed’ is an exaggeration but you’d be wrong, and I have pictures to prove it.

So long story short we loaded the balance of our worldly possessions and travelled uneventfully to our new home, arriving sometime around midnight. The next morning friends and family arrived to help us unload. We disgorged the contents of the truck into what was my empty 2 car garage, winced and started drinking. Unfortunately that only dulled the pain temporarily.

We have now had about 3 or 4 more weeks to digest our predicament. The house is full of all the knick knacks one can fit and the garage is still half full of boxes, and some furniture. There is hope for the future however. Within the near future I should be able to park at least one car back in there. When that day comes one of my dreams will be realized. At this time I have simple needs.

There’s a Move Afoot

As I announced in my last post Change, More Than a Move…. we have begun the process of moving, in fact we are more than half way if my guess is correct. The house is sold and we have purchased a house in Kelowna.

All that happened very quickly as I alluded to in my last post. The offer on our house was accepted within days of being proffered and the week before Easter we went to Kelowna, looked around, and put an offer on a home in Kelowna. After some wrangling it was accepted. We leave our Castlegar home at the end of April and move into our new home the beginning of May.  Exciting times, and more ahead.

As we were hoping to we found a place in a 55+ gated community. I joke that the gates are good, they’ll keep me from wandering too far. The complex is nice though and I think we’ll enjoy it. It is quite a change from ‘public’ living however, being in a strata, and there are sure to be adjustments. The residential area is also nice, and one of the perks is that it’s only about a 15 min. walk to our daughters and grandkids home. It’s maybe a 5 min. walk to the school the kids will ultimately go to and that will be sure to pay dividends in the future.

All in all we are looking forward to it. There will be stress I’m sure but the end result will more than make up for it. Time with family is more valuable than we give it credit for.

Change, More Than A Move. Who We Were Has Gone.

Change is underway, and it’s due to more than a move. It’s a new, and different, life. So many things we’ve taken for granted will no longer be part of our lives.

I guess you could say that the move is the impetus for this change, and you wouldn’t be far off, however it’s more than that. It’s the way we think, it’s the change in our priorities at this stage of our lives. It’s simply who we are, and who we are becoming. Who we were has gone.

Likely very few of you know that we were even considering moving away from our home town of approximately 55 years. It’s something we’ve been talking about for a number of years but has never reached critical mass until just recently. And critical mass it did reach.

We were making plans to list our home and had talked about the issues and potential issues around that plan. When should we list, how much should we ask, what about timing for the listing? Maureen’s questions were around her job, whether to retire or quit and then return to work in our new home town. Then of course where to we look to purchase once we relocate? We have already determined Kelowna will be the destination but what in what area there will we try to set up shop?

Much of this was pre decided for us however. Prior to even listing our house we had a potential buyer through word of mouth. That meeting has become an accepted offer, with a possible transfer of ownership and possession as early as mid-April. Wow! Wow, that was fast.

This has, of course, forced our hands in a few areas. Our planned/expected move that was to take place June/July has now advanced 2 months. All factors that hinged on that will now also have to change.

Personally …… I believe I’m ok with all of this, the move and all the changes around it. I think Maureen is as well, although a little more tenuously perhaps. These changes are certainly more significant for her, she is forced to undergo more changes at one time than I am.

I have made my peace with the change. I tell myself that anyway, and in my gut I feel it. For whatever reason(s) I am ready. Perhaps it’s because everywhere I look I see change. I see changes in people, in my friends and acquaintances, both in who they are and how they are (relative to my wants/needs). There are changes in my town, my neighbourhood, my circles of living. My wants and goals have changed regarding my home and the property it’s on. How I want to spend my life has changed, and is changing constantly.

All this is good. All this is normal. We look upon it as another adventure. It’s an adventure we will go on together. It’s the future, move forward and don’t look to the past. Looking at the past is like looking at the wake from a boat your travelling in. It’s what was, there is no changing it. Look forward to where you’re steering the boat, that’s what is important.