Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

scottish royal follow-up

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

And another thing about the royal family tree. You may have noticed that Henry VII’s daughter, Margaret Tudor, married King James IV of Scotland. This means that using the power of the internet I find that I can trace that line back directly through his father, James III (1451/1452 – June 11, 1488), then through his father, James II (October 16, 1430 – August 3, 1460) – take a look at the picture at that link and you’ll understand how I got my dashing physique – then through his father, you guessed it, James I of Scotland (December 10, 1394 – February 21, 1437). He seems to have had an amazingly eventful life, to say the least.

James the First’s father was Robert III of Scotland (c. 1340 – April 4, 1406), who was eldest son of King Robert II (March 2, 1316 – April 19, 1390). Robert II wasn’t the son of a king – he was the sole son of Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland (1293 – 9 April 1326), who fought on the Scottish side at the Battle of Bannockburn, and Marjorie Bruce (December, 1296 – March 2, 1316), daughter of King Robert I of Scotland (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), also known as Robert the Bruce.

If you like you can keep following the wikipedia links further and further back in time, for example David of Scotland (c. 1144 – 17 June 1219) Earl of Huntingdon; Duncan I of Scotland (d. 14 August 1040), upon whom King Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth is based; Donald II, King of the Picts in the late 9th century, nicknamed as a violent madman, and killed in battle at Dunnottar, just down the road from where my mother lives now.

The furthest back I managed to trace from the links was Kenneth I of Scotland – Cináed mac Ailpín if you prefer to be Scottish (after 800 – 13 February 858). From the wikipedia article:

he was king of the Picts and, according to national myth, first king of Scots. Cináed’s undisputed legacy was to produce a dynasty of rulers who claimed descent from him. Even though he cannot be regarded as the father of Scotland, he was the founder of the dynasty which ruled that country for much of the medieval period.

Before that it gets a bit confused, as you would expect with a lot of middle ages legend mixed with history. I would guess that having Viking marauders around would confuse things somewhat also. This article explains further, suggesting that the trail may go back to legendary Irish kings such as Conaire Mor, waaaay back in the second century BC.

I don’t know about you, but my head’s reeling somewhat from all that. It’s pretty crazy to think that there was all that historical skullduggery going on, which eventually lead to so many ancestors descendants, one of whom is now sitting in a room in Minneapolis.

more royal news

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

I updated the royal family tree post with as many links as I could find from wikipedia to the people in the list. Hope it’s interesting to you.

Also, here’s the line of succession to the British throne, featuring the top 1,285 people in line. For some reason I’m not on it, suggesting that either there is some kind of mistake on wikipedia (in which case I guess I can edit it) or my task of eradication to reach the throne is going to be harder work than I thought.

Some great names though, notably:

Count Prosper of Castell-Castell
Countess Désirée of Castell-Castell (sounds foxy)
Fabian von Ritter Baron zu Groenesteyn (sounds dashing)
Countess Anna-Elisabeth Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (sounds, um, kinsky?)
Alexandra Nikolaievna Eltchaninovna (over-syllabled, surely)
James Townsend (yawn)
Prince Alexis of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld (do not attempt to pronounce if you do not have a full complement of teeth)
Oda Hug (sounds dumpy but sweet)
Fie Bitsch (no need for that kind of language, thank you)
#1028: Karoline Matilde Vlangali-Handjeri (b. 1900), great-great-granddaughter of Louise Auguste of Denmark through her son Friedrich Emil August of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, and the oldest person on this list. (probably not going to ascend to the throne, realistically)
Dana Smith (I’m sure we can get more inventive)
Count Valdemar Georg of Rosenborg (that’s better)
Prince Emmanuel Emmanuelovich Galitzine

Well, you get the idea. Maybe a few prospective names in there for baby Mogendorff? I wonder if we could get away with any of those fantastically European names.

royal follow up

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Emma tracked through the family tree list to find out how I’m descended from royalty:

Henry VII & Elizabeth of York
4 Margaret Tudor & James IV of Scotland
3 James V of Scotland & Eupheme Elphinstone
4 Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney (illegitimate) & Lady Jean Kennedy
6 Mary Stewart & Lord Grey
2 Jean Grey & John, 1st Earl of Wemyss
1 David, 2nd Earl of Wemyss & Margaret Leslie
12 Margaret, 3rd Countess of Weymss (title passed to youngest daughter when no male heir) & James Wemyss, Lord Burntisland
2 Lady Anne Wemyss & David Leslie
2 Alexander Leslie-Melville, 5th Earl of Leven & Elizabeth Monypenny
4 Lady Elizabeth Leslie-Melville & John Hope, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun
4 Lady Charlotte Hope & Charles Hope
3 James Hope & Elizabeth Boyle
2 David Boyle Hope & Letitia Augusta Crofton
1 James Arthur Hope & Geraldine Lucy Robinson
1 Arthur Henry Cecil Hope & Granny (Muriel Hope)
My mom (Elspeth Mary Neilson Hope) & my dad (Dolf Andries Mogendorff)

The numbers are the position in family, so Margaret was child 4.

Looks like a bit of illegitimacy and some cousin-cousin action in the past…

royal, kind of

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

During extensive baby name research, Emma came across a page which is a family tree of descendants of King Henry VII – do a search within the page (for Mogendorff) and you will find me! I’m guessing that the guy who put this together didn’t find details of Emma’s and my wedding, or of Toby’s birth, so I’ll try to contact him and get updates.

A couple of things occurred to Emma: firstly, maybe we should use a selection of family names – we have a few to choose from, including one gentleman named Charles Felix Otho Victor Gabriel John Adrian Hope-Nicholson.

Secondly, how many people would I have to dispose of before I could take the throne of Britain? It would be quite a task, but possible worth it.

back home

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

It’s really good to be back home. I’m trying to rinse the work stuff out of my head, and the overeating and drinking out of my body (I chose not to believe what the scales told me this morning about my weight). It’s so good to see Emma and Toby.

Tonight Emma and I are going to a party for the union ceremony of our friends Christopher and Jason (same-sex marriage being unfortunately illegal in Minnesota and most of the US). We were scrambling around to get a babysitter – most of our friends are either coming to the party too, or are going to other weddings – so we ended up with one of Toby’s former teachers who is fantastic. She’s got something going on too – going out for dinner with her boyfriend and his mother – and was happy for Toby to come too. I hope they’re going to have a good time.

berry nice indeed

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

I had heard through the local paper that it was about to be berry picking season, and they had a recommendation for a place over in Wisconsin, Rush River Produce berry picking. We got all excited, especially Emma at the prospect of being able to get gooseberries (you can get them at the grocery store but they’re madly expensive).

So during the week Emma called them and asked about the berry situation – the guy said “this is the *best* weekend for gooseberries!” so we decided to trek over this morning. It’s about an hour and a half along beautiful roads – slightly scary as we had at least three close calls with wild turkeys either running or flying across the road – and we had to start really early because the forecast was for a bit of a scorcher – it’s almost 8pm now and still 97F (over 36C). We got there at about 8:30am when it was about 73F, not too bad at all. it’s completely beautiful there, up on the hills overlooking the Mississippi and Lake Pepin, birds singing, flowers all over the place, and really nice people at the farm too, all very welcoming.

The fruit was amazing too. They have hundreds of blueberry bushes, but we were there for the gooseberries primarily. We ended up picking ten pounds! A good mix of green and red/purple (which were delicious right off the bush) and plenty of scratches on our arms, but well worth it. Emma’s going to do some chutney and also a few gooseberry pies I think. We also got about four pounds of redcurrants – they were practically dripping off the bushes, and she’s just finishing off some redcurrant jelly. Then another four or five pounds of blackcurrants, which are completely delicious. We’re going to have some in a pie or two (we think blackcurrant and apple pie will be fantastic) and also just plain with vanilla ice cream. The question is what to do with the rest? We could do jam, but we can get pretty good blackcurrant jam here, but we can’t find any other recipes. Do any readers have any blackcurrant recipies they could recommend?

what a country

Friday, July 6th, 2007

I’ve had my green card for over five years now, so theoretically I am eligible to apply for citizenship of the United States (“of these United States,” as I would say if I were a presidential candidate, which I can’t be because for a start I was not born here, and you have to be natural born American to be President). Not sure if I will – I have a real attachment to living here, and the people, and it would be nice to vote and all, but it would still feel a bit strange, even though I’d be able to keep my UK citizenship. Hmm. Either way, wouldn’t it be cool to have the citizenship ceremony at Disneyworld? With a parade? And F-15s flying overheard? What a country.

On a smaller scale, I found out (both these pieces of info today come from a blog from our local paper, that today is National Fried Chicken Day. I wonder what we’ll have for dinner? I was at a party a couple of weeks ago, where the hosts got fried chicken from the deli counter at a supermarket, and it was about 100 times better than KFC. I’m sure it was calorie-free too.


Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

I think my toe is getting better – it’s still sore but not as excruciating as yesterday. Maybe that’s because I had a couple of beers after work, we’ll find out tomorrow.

In the meantime my son has been taunting me. He’s quite into Loony Tunes cartoons at the moment – he said to me last night “Because you hurt your toe you can’t go fast any more. So I can’t call you Speedy Gonzales – I will be Speedy Gonzales. And I will call you: Slow Gonzales.”

sports of sorts

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

I got a sports injury on Sunday, kind of. The day was going really well – I was part way through slow barbecuing a load of pork baby back ribs for dinner; we had several friends coming over so a large-scale grilling experiment seemed in order. I also made my own barbecue sauce. The ribs were incredibly good, slow barbecued in my trusty charcoal Weber grill.

So part way through the afternoon I took a full trash bag downstairs to the garbage. Stupidly I didn’t think to put on shoes, and even more stupidly didn’t turn on the lights in the basement. On the way back I smacked my left foot into something – a piece of seldom used home fitness equipment (that’s how it counts as a sports injury, ahem). I limped around the rest of the evening, but some booze helped as an analgesic. Today was a different matter though – my little toe is purple, almost black, and hurts like a bugger. I’m limping around, not looking very cool. There’s nothing much you can do about a broken toe, just have to tape it to its neighbor and wait for it to heal, but at the moment it’s not a lot of fun. You’d think that the little toe on your left foot would be the least important, but you would be wrong.

it doesn’t suck

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I took Toby to the cinema last weekend to watch the new penguin animation “Surf’s Up”. It was actually a lot of fun – well done and enjoyable. Jeff Bridges as surfer dude Big Z was a riot, and very much the return of The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Unsurprising really – as we all know, The Dude abides.

On another note I had an interesting sanitation experience. In the restroom they had rather funky new hand dryers. It turns out that AMC cinemas have gone for the new Dyson Blade hand dryers. Pretty impressive operation – as with other Dyson products they look cool and work exactly right. Hopefully we’ll be seeing them in other locations too.