Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Fairfield Petition (a genealogy query)

I am trying to find the source of the following pre-Revolutionary petition from Fairfield, Connecticut. If you have found this page by Search Engine, please contact me at mark at markdionne dot com. (I am interested in the name Coffman that appears in the list of signers.)

New Fairfield Petition

Dated 24 Dec. 1747 - Signed 23 April 1748

We the subscribers, inhabitants of New Fairfield and loyal
subjects of King George by virtue of the laws of this
government, have a right to vote for town officers. We
do hear (sic) complain and say that we have been denied
that privilege this year by not being lawfully warned.
For we never heard of a meeting till after it was over
and we do denigh (sic) the legitimacy of such a town
meeting. For either the town men we believe did not
set up the warning or trusted to such men as did not
set it up so that the people might see it. So that its
evident to us that they were employed to set up the
warning. We believe that in the North Society but three
or four men knew of it. Therefore we think such meeting
to be unlawfully held and that the officers chosen at
it are not lawfully chosen. Therefore we humbly desire
the townsmen forthwith to warn a town meeting according
to law. For we think if such present doings are winked
at which according to law should be most publick our town
stands on a presipis (sic) ready to fall into confusion.
Which is the complaint of us whose names are hereunto

James Tryon Samuel Wright Abel Wright

Azariah Coffman Ezek Hubbell John Pepper

Benjamin Eastman Lyddel Buck Joseph Congar

Thomas Barns John Barns John Pepper Jr.

Benjamin Seelye Benjamin Elliott Jefferson Commings

John Commings Samuel Waters Daniel Commings

Jonathan Page Peter Eastman Samuel Commings

William Barns Nathan ? Latham Clark

Benjamin Benedict Samuel Tryon Caleb Morgan

Joseph Coffman (illegible)

Elnathan Commings Azahel Harding

Jonathan Hill Zeth Tryon

Peter Eastman

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hazardous waste

I'm cleaning out the basement of my parents' house, which is soon to be sold. Above is a picture of one of the things I found. It's a roll of asbestos paper, about 50 feet long.

Our town's recycling center accepts hazardous waste, but they won't take asbestos because they don't want people doing do-it-yourself asbestos cleanup. They directed me to a commercial outfit that charges something like $50 per trunk load.

So I put it on eBay. I got $33 for it, and somebody came in late and offered $100!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fun with chemistry

I just found this box in my parents' basement.

My 7th grade science teacher let me order some chemicals from a scientific supply house. He said everything was OK as long as I didn't order sodium nitrate, since that could be used to make gunpowder. Here's what I got:
nitric acid
sulfuric acid
potassium chlorate
magnesium ribbon
sodium peroxide

I had a lot of fun with that stuff!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Worcestershire wasabi

For this project, I translated this passage into Old English, Middle English imitating Chaucer one in a Shakespearian spirit and one in a moron’s spirit. -- Sam Dionne

Several days ago, my beloved wife of 15 years left me due to her cheating ways and I’ll tell you straightforwardly, I can not believe it. We met while on a hike. We talked for a while about the chilly weather and then hiked together. It was a beautiful afternoon.

And ever since then, I’ve hated mountains.

One insane woman had to get involved in my life and send me into a downward spiral of alcoholism and depression and drug abuse. Seven years later, we wed and fought viciously in the hotel about who gets the sole room key. It could have fallen apart a hundred times, every single day.

In all honesty, she disgusts me. She eats sushi with Worcestershire Sauce and bathes three times a day. She steals all of my beer and I confront her about it and she coos me into submission. No more! I looked at her cellphone text messages last week and found a rather ghastly correspondence that has sent me over the edge. Thank God for saving me from any more despair.

So now I sit at the office playing shooter games on the computer, then I do my work at home to keep me occupied, because I want to die. I must stay busy with useless tasks and mind-numbing activities to stave off the violence.

Chaucerian Spirit

O these woeful days. Naught but three days past,
my wyf of years hast cheated her last.
Straightcometh I say, I cannot believe
She had been off and asking to leave.
If that when we walke, up heigh on the mound
Twas nary a gentle note voiced in the sound
That bodeth to future days speaketh good fates
We ghouls desiren awfulest mates.
She long been assaileth me, keeping me chepe
What eyleth me now I see is my keep
We could hev split, and thanne we wod know
Her lavours of person, in sickness she go.
To steal my beer’s grave illness to me
Of women yblessed moot she not be
Wyf, go wher thee liste, Taak youre disport,
She wol nat dwelle in house a single day forth.

Old English

Feower þrio dagashæfde, æþeling bryd to me fyftynera læf side sibbene,ac ic forsceal, ic hit sare. ic ðæt mæl geman we niosað, on fyrgenholt. Wit cwæð gecwædon sy wedera cealdostc, þanon giong. ðæt wæs ond sceaw dogra.

Us wæs a syððan, ic hatod fyrgenholts.

Et wæs geomuru ides on helle drihten linnan ond eowic me to weal bregdan to beore ond sarlic ond meselfes hrusan. Syfonera æfter wit cwæð, wit æste geworhte ond wit ðam wange on husa þæt he heoguide. Wræc meahtan gefetan oþer ahund mæla, ǽghwilc he dogore.

Anfaldlíce, sy ádlig. Sy ellenrof gódléas ond sy áwascans þrio tíma adagore. Sy ætniman beore ond ic nebbian on sy loccia innan álote. Astyntan! Ic lóca cranica ond infindan ymbsprǽc yfele. Hit þe worna fela. Gode ic þanc secge þæs sy scacen.

Nú ic ymbsittan ond plegan ac ic nyllan nága min geþanc.

Shakespearian Spirit

Functionario: Rosicrucio! Old, dear friend, well met!

Rosicrucio: O! for days my heart hath bled.
For fifteen years my loyal wife she'd been.
Another man hath shorn my love from me.
From the forest I once took delight;
Woodland eaves are now a dreadful sight.
Woman-tired was I, but enamored still—
Her love, this drink, that drink, this pill—
A thousand times each day the gods I begged
For mercy, for disaster, for another wooden leg,
For mine she would hide when drenched in drink!

Functionario: O! a lamentable fate, I must think.

Rosicrucio: A foul sight to me has she become,
Too often hath my ales wet her tongue.
Experience may make the best of men,
But Worcestershire wasabi was my end.
My desk is cold, but the cold I prefer—
False weapons hath more life and fire than her.
Into idleness must I now retreat,
Lest real weapons offer me release.

Moron’s Spirit

It was maybe a long time ago that I went on walk up in Maine on a mountain hike and had a good time. I met a woman fifteen years ago there and she talked together and walked along the hill and we spoke with to each other about weather. It was a nice time but I hate mountains.

I like computer games at work because work is boring and I get hungry too often so I pretend to kill things.

That woman left home last week because she cheats. I wonder if she steals my beer and steals my food and lies to everyone. It’s not so terribly awful.

My wife left me cause of fighting and things. It happens a lot.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bicycle Helmet Wind Noise

About ten years back, the bike catalogs like Performance were selling gadgets that you placed over your ears to cut down on the wind noise while riding your bike. They didn't stay in the catalogs for long.

Recently I was thinking about them, after becoming aware of the wind noise in my ears. Then I tried a few experiments:

-If you turn your head 90 degrees to one side, the noise goes way down. This is not practical for very long...

-Covering the ears with ear warmers doesn't help noticeably

-Cupping your hand in the vicinity of the ear helps a bit in certain positions.

-Removing your helmet helps A LOT! It's almost as effective as turning the head 90 degrees.

-Using a fabric helmet cover did not make a noticeable difference.

The reduction in wind noise when not wearing a helmet was surprising. It appears that there must be quite a bit of turbulence around the edge of the helmet. It would be interesting to try a time-trial helmet to see if it is any quieter.

Mark Dionne

PS: the ear cover gadgets have been re-invented. They look very much like what I remember seeing years ago: