Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Where Were You in 2000?

For Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week, Randy Seaver is asking us to reach back in our memories almost twenty years.  Let's see how I do compared to him.

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

Do you recall what you were doing in 2000?  Family, school, work, hobbies, technology, genealogy, vacations, etc.?  If this doesn't work for you, what about your parents?

(2) Tell us in a blog post of your own, in a comment on this blog, or in a Facebook post.

As usual, I am amazed at Randy's amount of recall.  This is what I could cobble together.

I was living in Oakland, California in the house I had bought in 1993.  I no longer had a housemate.  The friend who had cosigned with me to purchase the house had moved out in 1998.  In mid-1999 I had a friend who needed a place to stay, so I let him have the extra room.  By the time 2000 had rolled around, however, he was gone.  He had gone out drinking on New Year's Eve and had apparently spent the night with a young lady, who then took all of his money and disappeared — which is exactly what the housemate did for several months, being too embarrassed to admit what had happened.  I finally tracked him down three or four months into the year and got him to take all of his stuff out of the house.

In 2000 I had been working for the Seismological Society of America for two years.  I was the publications coordinator — at that point I was not yet editing one of the journals; my work was administrative only — and the "junior Webmaster" — I assisted the primary Webmaster with maintaining and updating the society's site.  I don't remember if I had learned HTML by that point or not.  I was probably doing only really basic stuff with the site.

The Seismological Society of America (SSA) is a scientific membership association.  Most members are seismologists and geologists, with a smattering of volcanologists and other geological specialties.  SSA holds an annual conference, as do many scneitific societies, where members and other attendees present talks and posters on recent research.  The 2000 conference was held in San Diego right after my birthday.  I remember there was a field trip of some sort to Old Town, which was enjoyable if somewhat touristy.  I also remember that was the year I met Shri Krishna Singh.

See, there was an international enclave of seismologists at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National University of Mexico).  Certainly there were scientists from Mexico, but they also had Kostoglodov from Russia, a Japanese man whose name I've forgotten, and Shri Krishna Singh from India.  I met him in San Diego when I heard someone speaking fluent Spanish behind me, turned around to see who it was, and was momentarily nonplussed when I saw a man who pretty clearly seemed to be from the Indian subcontinent.  It took a few seconds for my brain to process, and then I realized who it had to be.  I had communicated with him by e-mail prior to that but had never met him in person.

(Years later, when I was with my stepsons' father, whose father was born in India, I contacted Shri to find out if he had any advice for doing genealogy research in that country.  He told me that after he had been a successful scientist for several years, he went back to India himself to try to find some record of his birth.  He was dismayed when he could find absolutely nothing and learned that his brother had literally made up a birth date for him when he started school.  He told me I was pretty much out of luck.)

In August I'm prettty sure I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for GenCon, the largest gaming convention held in the United States.  I don't remember whose booth I would have been working at.  It might have been Reaper Games or Pegasus Publishing.  I just learned from reading the GenCon page on Wikipedia that the 2000 convention was the first year that Hasbro owned it, having bought Wizards of the Coast the previous year right after the 1999 convention.

There's a good chance that I also attended the Origins Game Fair in Columbus in July.  That's another game convention, I believe the second largest in the United States.  Again I don't remember who I worked for.  If I did go, I probably visited my aunt's sister, who lives in Columbus.

It's almost guaranteed that I went to two of the three game conventions in Los Angeles run by Strategicon:  OrcCon over Presidents' Day weekend and Gateway over Labor Day weekend.  I don't know if I went to the Memorial Day weekend convention, Gamex; it was a significantly smaller convention, and it wasn't always cost effective to attend.

If I still had access to the e-mail address I used at that time, I could easily check on all of this.  Unfortunately, Eudora has not been supported for many years now, and I don't have access to the old files.

All of those conventions used to use up all of my vacation time, so I usually didn't do much additional travel other than that related to work.  I might have gone to one or two professional training seminars for SSA.

I was doing genealogy research back then.  As I recall, I had Family Tree Maker 3.0 for Macintosh (before Ancestry abandoned it!)  installed on my work computer.  I think I had upgraded my home computer to a 486 because I needed a hard drive to use the version of FTM I had discs for.

2000 was the year I began volunteering to help at the Oakland Family History Center, after having used the library for several years for research.  I kept helping people, so one day one of the staff asked, "Would you like to volunteer here?"  I said I wasn't Mormon, and he said it didn't matter, so I signed up!

That's about all I can recall for now.  Maybe something else will percolate up through my brain during the next few days.  If so, I'll post an addendum.


  1. I forgot that I used to research at the OFHC before driving onto work in Hayward. It was easier to order films & view them there than in Concord.

    1. Ah, yes, the old days, when we relied on microfilm! I remember them well.


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