Tom Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible movie.

Am I the only one who is impressed with Tom Cruise’s stunt work? How many actors do their own stunts?

I, for one, can not wait to see the latest Mission Impossible movie, “Rogue Nation.” I’ve loved them all so far. This one looks good too. The other movies have stunts that are so realistic-looking they make one’s heart skip a beat or race with adrenalin the first time they are seen.

Here’s the latest movie trailer:

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Ghosts. Spirits. Are they real?

I think so.

I’ve had more than a few ghostly encounters. I’m sure most people have. (I’ve had many! I’ll write about these in the future) Maybe they’ve disregarded these strange, unexplained things that have happened to them—things they’ve seen which they can’t explain, or things they’ve smelled or heard.

I’ve had an interest in the paranormal (before I knew what it was) from an early age. I used to get up early on Saturdays mornings (mind you, I was under 5 years old) to “sneak” downstairs to watch Sir Graves Ghastly on the television. Sir Graves Ghastly was a Detroit personality and each week he featured a different old horror movie. I recall watching many Vincent Price movies.

Invisible friends. How many kids had one of these? I had two. “Petghostly,” (probably named after Sir Graves Ghastly, and “Aunt Rosie.” I have no idea where she came from. Why do kids make up invisible friends? Are they real entities? I have no idea. I’d like to do a study or more research on these in the future.

I’ve recently come across a few videos of real ghostly encounters that make one think. Things that can’t be explained away.

Moving across country with “Flip-Flop Tours”

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Photo courtesy of morgue file.

Flip-Flop Tours. My sister and I invented this entity while driving across country. “See the world in a day,” is our motto. That was how most of our vacations have always been: drive-by with the occasional stop and look at something, then get back in the car. (Similar to the Griswolds in National Lampoons’ Vacation when the family stopped to see the Grand Canyon).

Everyone should travel across country at least once in their life by car. I’ve done it a few times now and each time has been an adventure. Hopefully, most people are able to take in more touristy destinations and sight-seeing on the way. We could not, as we had a backseat-driving 4-year-old in the backseat who tended to get cranky in the afternoons, and we didn’t have much time as we had a self-imposed deadline to reach our destination.

The most recent adventure was caused by my sister’s move from coastal North Carolina to the desert of southwestern Arizona. My job, and the real subject of this tale, was to keep an eye on the sea-monkeys (names unknown) and the betta fish, “Fishy.” Fishy came with an aquatic plant of some sort that also had a name, “Moss Ball.”

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(Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org. Fish pictured above is slightly different color than “Fishy”)

Sea-monkey are unique little critters. I don’t know if you’ve seen a sea-monkey. It came as a surprise to me what they actually looked like, and a bit of a disappointment to learn they aren’t at all like those cartoons in those sea-monkey advertisements I had seen a million times in comic books when I was growing up.

Comic Version of the “Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys” (They look like fun! They learn tricks too apparently, according to the advertisement):3219281207_325fd9dd8f_z

The REAL Sea-Monkeys, aka Brine Shrimp (Artemia salina) are below: 

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Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org. Pictured above are the real-life sea-monkeys—a mating pair and a single one.

My nephew’s particular sea-monkeys appeared to be very busy in the mating process most of our journey (see photo above for that visual), so I suppose they were a “bowlfull of happiness.” To make certain every one of them were accounted for, I frequently counted them: one… two… three… four… and the single one—five. We felt a little sorry for the single one who just swam around without a mate attached to its back. It seemed happy enough, though, going about its business, swimming and eating. All the sea-monkeys seemed to be oblivious to my constant staring at them like a zoo attraction.

On the first day, I placed the sea-monkeys inside the car door (the car was packed with the usual moving stuff, us, plus the cat and toys to keep my nephew busy—there hadn’t been much room available). It seemed to be a safe-enough place, until… I forgot about them when I got out of the car and shut the door. Water splattered everywhere like a torrential rain-fall. The cover came off and out with the waterfall that formed a mess on the carpet floor landed two sea-monkeys! Of course, my nephew had a saying for that… ‘All aboard the fail boat.‘ The fail boat—yes, it’s a crowded boat sometimes, and amazingly it didn’t sink from all the weight inside.

With quick reflexes, though, I was able to scoop them up under my fingernail and place the squirmy little critters back inside their little watery home and save their lives. I counted them to be certain. Success! Everyone was accounted for and no one had died. After that debacle, I remembered to take them out of the door before opening and closing it. I had a few other close calls though when I forgot about them, but nothing was as major ad a venture for the sea-monkeys as that first cascade of rushing water that pair of sea-monkeys ended up being swept up into.

When we hit Mississippi, near Louisiana, the traveling got a little more dangerous for the aquatic life in the car. The heat from the sun beating down on us added to the fact that we were trapped in a traffic jam without a way to escape it. We wondered why there didn’t have another route.

traffic jam

Photo courtesy of morgue file. Pictured above is not the actual traffic jam we encountered. It’s just for demonstrative purposes. In real life, no one got out of their cars and there were more semi-trucks parked along side us. And trees. Lots and lots of trees. There doesn’t appear to be a tree shortage in Mississippi.

We probably moved a few inches at a time for hours and hours (It seemed that way, anyway). After sitting there, trapped amongst the caravan of traffic and overheating cars, the heat reached a point where the air conditioning didn’t seem to be working any more and we feared the sea-monkeys and fish might boil. I made multiple attempts to keep them shaded from the sun and heat, sometimes providing shade with my hand or whatever I could find (which tended to be the mail my sister grabbed prior to our leaving her house).

Arizona! It was a miracle! All five of the sea-monkeys; Fishy, and Moss Ball made it alive. No critter died on my watch 🙂

(Epilogue: Unfortunately, Fishy passed away about a week after the journey from unknown causes. I’ve heard there was a funeral and Moss Ball joined Fishy in his desert grave. That same day, my sister made haste to replace Moss Ball with Moss Ball 2 and a new Fishy 2).

Genealogy: The Mystery of Jane Warren

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Photo borrowed from morguefile.com.

The Jane Warren Mystery

I’ve been stuck on a mystery for years now: Where did my ancestor, Jane Warren, come from and who were her parents? I’m posting info I have with hope that someone may be able to help solve this mystery.

Fact: Jane Warren married James Gamble on the 17th of November, 1824 in Markham Township, York Co., Ontario. Jane Beynon & John Gamble witnessed. (John was James’ brother, and Jane Beynon became James’ sister-in-law).

Fact: In a census, Jane said she was of Irish ethnicity.

Fact: Jane was born. Somewhere. The possible places were: New Brunswick; Ireland; Canada; Ontario; Vaughan Twp., York Co., Ontario, and Prince Edward Island. The dates listed range from 21 January 1807 to 1810.

Fact: Jane died somewhere in Michigan (there was a will) on 17 Oct 1885. In either Tuscola Co., or Berrien Co., Michigan. She’s buried in Elkland Twp. Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola Co., Michigan. Her husband, James, died earlier that year in Berrien Co., Michigan and is buried there.

Fact: James and Jane had the following children:

  • Ezra Wyatt Gamble b. 3 Dec 1825 in Markham Twp., York Co., Ontario. He moved around after becoming the second Gamble reeve in Scugog Twp., to live (according to census records, and since those were every 10 years, he’s probably lived in other places I don’t know about) in: Missouri. He may have ended up somewhere in Washington state. Using the usual naming patterns of the era, I have no idea where Ezra got his name, nor his middle name, Wyatt—which is most likely a surname, but whose is it?
  • James Warren Gamble b. 10 Feb 1828 in Markham Twp., York Co., Ontario. James was the first reeve of Scugog Twp., Ontario Co., Ontario. His brother, Ezra became reeve twice afterward. He owned a business in Port Perry. James’ wife, Lydia, died, and afterward he had an auction, sold his farm on Scugog Island and left Canada to become a fruit tree grower and farmer in Manistee, Michigan.
  • Moses Gamble b. 21 Nov 1829 in Markham Twp., York Co., Ontario. He married in Hamilton, Ontario, Margaret Smith, and ended up moving to Westport, South Dakota.
  • Aaron Walter Gamble b. 15 Oct 1831 somewhere in Ontario. Became a doctor. Met a nurse in medical school, hooked up and moved to many places including: British Columbia, Washington state, and ended up in California.
  • Mary Ann Gamble b. 27 Nov 1833 in Whitchurch, York Co., Ontario. She married Pennington Lundy of Scugog, and they ended up moving to Benton Harbor, Berrien Co., Michigan. In the 1880 census she says her mother, Jane, was born in Canada (this does not narrow down the choices!).
  • Margaret Elizabeth Gamble b. 26 March 1836 in Vaughan, York Co., Ontario. Married, moved to Indiana and then Michigan.
  • William W. Gamble b. 13 April 1839 in Whitby, Ontario Co., Ontario. Also became a doctor (dentist), married in Haldimand Co., Ontario and moved. In 1868 was living in Kansas. In 1875 lived in Brockport, New York. In 1910 lived in San Francisco, California. He said his mother, Jane, was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada (This narrows it down a little…sort of).
  • Jane Anne Gamble b. 19 Mar 1842 in Whitby, Ontario Co., Ontario. Married James Redman (another Scugog area family), moved to Gratiot Co., Michigan.
  • Albert E. Gamble b. 17 June 1844 in Scugog Island, Ontario Co., Ontario* (or Markham Twp., York Co., Ontario) Albert was “of Scugog” in 1866. He married Mary Smith in Whitby, Ontario 1865. Moved to Newaygo Co., Michigan
  • Maria (Mariah) Gamble b. 1 Nov 1846 in Whitchurch Twp., York Co., Ontario. Married Ephraim Reader (of Scugog) on Scugog Island and later moved to Huron Co., Michigan
  • Harrison Septimus Gamble b. 21 March 1853 in Whitchurch Twp., York Co., Ontario. Married a few times. Moved to Michigan but died in Ohio at his daughter’s (a nurse) house.

Now, the reason I mention the children in regard to trying to find Jane Warren’s past is because the Gamble family ended up living in Scugog Twp., according to some of the children’s birth places and the 1851 census. Scugog Twp., is also where a group of Irish Warrens lived. There were two brothers (of distant Irish nobility and large estate owners) who helped settle the Scugog area, known as the “Irishmen,” of whom she could be related: John Borlase Warren and his brother, William Warren, from Co. Cork, Ireland. Apparently, they came to this particular area because 1) it needed settling/farming 2) their uncle, Dr. William Warren Baldwin, lived in the area and they had a place to stay. John was born about 1798 (too young to be Jane’s father, but could be her brother) and settled in Scugog for a time, building a gristmill and operated a distillery and general store. He opened the first post office between Toronto and Port Hope, Ontario. He married Louisa Lynde (daughter of Jabez Lynde who settled in Scugog in 1804). John moved to Oshawa, Ontario and helped settle that town. William also operated several stores in Whitby. William later became Collector of Customs at Whitby. He was born about 1799-1800 (also, probably too young to be Jane’s father). The “Irishmen”‘s father was a captain in the dragoons in the British Army.

Some children for the Warrens of Scugog/Whitby/Oshawa: William Warren: William Warren (b. 1826); Dr. Henry Warren (b. 1838 in Whitby Twp.);

There’s another William Warren b. 1785 in England who died in Scugog. He married Mary ___. Known children: John Clems Warren (b. 1809); James Warren (b. 1813); William Warren (b. 1817); (I suppose my Jane Warren could fit into this family, but she claims to be Irish…)

The Niagara area Warrens: Again, there are a few, mostly military-types, who could be related to my Jane Warren. One, probably not, although who really knows: 1) a John Warren was a farmer in 1842, born in United States, living in Cayuga, Haldimand Co., Ontario with two people (probably a wife and child). He was black.

2) a Col. John Warren b. before 1755 in Scotland (was in the British army this year) was stationed at Fort Erie, Niagara, Canada. He was also the Justice of the Peace at Niagara. He travelled a lot, and married a couple times. His children were born all over: 1) Mary b. 1764 Scotland 2) John b. 1766 England 3) Henry Bowden Warren b. 1772 Trois Riviers, Quebec 4) Col. John (the 2nd) b. 1777 5) Edmund Edward Warren b. 1779 Fort Erie 6) Jane Warren b. 1782 Bertie Twp., Niagara but she married Benjamin Hardison. (But this particular Jane is also listed as being a Col. Kirby Warren’s daughter. Perhaps Col. Kirby Warren and Col. John Warren are the same people, or there were two Col. Warrens stationed at Fort Erie with daughters named Jane (unlikely) 7) Amelia b. 1784 8) Julia b. 1787. To add to the confusion with the Kirby Warren, one of Col. John Warren’s daughters “married a Kerby and her sister” (Jane Warren) married Benjamin Hardison. This needs further investigating.

There’s a stray Jane Warren who married in 1828 a doctor, David J. Bowman of Port Talbot. She was from Fort Erie.

And, there’s another John Warren b. 1771 in the Fort Erie area who married Charlotte Stanton. This was another possible set of parents for my Jane until I found that they didn’t seem to have a Jane Warren as a child. They had a Sophia. (Still collecting children for them)

I thought about checking into Col. John Warren’s son, Henry Bowden Warren, who would be a possible father. It appears he didn’t have a daughter named Jane. His brother, John (b. 1777 lived in Bertie Twp), had a daughter named Jane, but I don’t know who she married. So far, this is the most promising line to do more digging, and if this is the correct line, my Jane belongs to the military/Niagara branch (Fort Erie). John married Susan S. Smith and their known children: Jane Warren, Ann B. Warren, John B. Warren (another John Borlase Warren, but he died in his 20s. Leaving me to believe that the military branch could be related to the nobility branch of the Warren family).

Of course, hardly any branches of my ancestors followed the traditional naming patterns of the time where the first son is usually named after the father’s father; the first daughter is usually named after the mother’s mother; the second son is usually named after the mother’s father; the second daughter is usually named after the father’s mother; the third son is usually named after the father; the third daughter is usually named after the mother; the fourth son is usually named after the father’s oldest brother; the fourth daughter is usually named after the mother’s daughter; etc etc. Although these are the traditional Irish patterns, it pretty much goes that way with all other nationalities. I have noticed the patterns have been reversed. If I do use the naming patterns, her father’s name should be William, or James, or John. But who was Ezra? No one in the Gamble family used that name before this. It must be from Jane Warren’s side or someone who witnessed his baptism and has no connection to the family…?

On to the Prince Edward Island Warrens: Jane could be related somehow, but so far, doesn’t fit anywhere:

Capt. William Warren m. the widow Jane Gouldrup. They had a son, William Warren (b. 1774 PEI) who married Ann Robinson (b. NYC 1778). Their children: William Warren (b. 1799 — too young to be my Jane’s father); James Warren (b. 1800 — too young to be my Jane’s father); George Warren (b. 1802); Joseph Philip Warren (b. 1807 — he took over my Jane Warren’s possibility of her being William Warren/Ann Robinson’s child, unless they were twins, and if so, it isn’t mentioned anywhere); There is a Maria Jane Nelson Warren daughter, but she was b. 1810 (a possibility until I found that she married someone else!).

So… does anyone know anything more about the mysterious Jane Warren, daughter of John Warren (b. 1777), son of Col. John Warren of Fort Erie fame?

Time Travel

I’ve been interested in time travel for a while. I loved the show, “Quantum Leap”, but never connected to “Dr. Who,” for some reason. Anyway, I came across this video today and figured I’d write a bit about my thoughts on this—mainly because I didn’t want to bookmark another site or video, so I put it here.

It’s happened more than a few times, that I’ve written something in a novel regarding that particular time period/era only to find out later, that that particular event, etc., actually did happen. Or that a name I chose at random, happened to be a living person, of which I had no idea at the time of writing about them. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or perhaps I subconsciously heard or read about that and forgot—but I doubt it. Too many strange things like that have happened.

I can’t be the only one who has gone somewhere they’ve never been and felt like they have been there. This sort of thing, whether it is a form of déjà vu, or perhaps a shift in time for that split second, or even some form of psychic ability, or an out of body experience. I can’t say it’s always due to our ancestral memories because as far as I’m aware, none of my ancestors had been to that particular place, either. I don’t believe in reincarnation, so I’m not even considering that. (My personal belief).

When it happens, it’s very random and unexpected. Maybe a split second of, “oh, I’ve been here before,” or “I remember this,” or “I’ve seen this,” sort of thing. I never thought about it being a form of time travel, but perhaps a form of out-of-body experience, instead. I don’t know how else to explain how a person can know something, or see something, where they’ve never physically been there.

I’m going to be doing more investigating on this. I’m thinking of brewing up a novel that may touch on this subject.