What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life in Manteca 13: Family History Center; a Place for Genealogy

I enjoy spending time in the family history centers, trying to learn new things about my ancestors.  The thing I am trying to work on now is the exact circumstances of the death of Joseph Wardle, My great great great uncle.  The rest of the family emigrated to Utah, but he did not.

The resources for family research are available through the Family History Centers.  The history centers have computers and microfilm readers. There are also volunteers who staff the library, who can help with questions.  Behind them, which are available for a small fee, are the resources of the entire church genealogy library.  I don't know how many millions of records this represents, but I know it is a lot.  I currently have a film with the old church records from Ravenstone, where Joseph likely lived when he died.  I have found records of Wardles, including the sister of my great-great-great grandfather.

I also realized their are several centers close to where I live, with different schedules.  Our center in Manteca 6060 E Northland Rd is open 9-1 m-w, 6-9 t-w and Sunday, and 9-12 Saturday.  However there are a couple of other history centers close by.  Tracy, 1981 Chester Dr  has a similar schedule 6-9, t w su and w h 9-1.  Stockton, 800 W Brookside, is only open Tuesday and Wednesday, but it is open all day t w 10-9.  Thee are two centers in Modesto.  The closer, 4300 Dale rd is open t-th 10-1 and 6-8:30.  The other,731 El Vista Ave is open same days 10-1 but in the evening 6:30-9:30.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life in Manteca 12: Parks, ***Towne Center and Golden Spike, **^Green, ***^San Joaquin River

So Tony I and Miranda did the park exploration trip today.  We went to Moss Landing of Lathrop and visited a couple of parks, but our other goal was to get to the river so we could throw some rocks in.  We fist went to the at the corner of Golden Spike and Towne Center.  This park does have access to the levy along the river, but going down to the river is very steep, so I didn't take Tony there.  However the park itself was very nice.  It has a small water park, which is great to cool off.  This park is very new.  I check Google Maps, and on there is was still surrounded by a fence.  In addition to the water area, it has a play structure, with four ways to climb up.  There is a covered picnic area.  There is basketball and three softball diamonds.  Another attraction is a fenced in dog park area.  There were a few people running their dogs, throwing balls and sticks.  For Tony the high-light was the water play, and he cooled himself getting wet.  This park is new, the trees are not yet developed so there is a lack of shade.

We were headed to the other side of Moss Landing when we saw a small park, The Green".  Tony wanted to stop.  It had a pretend train, and Tony had a lot of fun with it.  Pretending the doors were closing, making Miranda and I sit in the train.  (It didn't quite fit me.)  There was a covered area which was cool with the breeze. 

We then drove by the river, passing a coupe parks for future exploration.  We parked and walked up onto the levy.  There was no trail, but the rules said no alcohol, so we figured we were OK.  We picked as safe a place as we could, a ways back from the river, but under a tree for shade.  There were threw sticks and stones into the river.  It was fun, and it was cool by the river.  I skipped a flat rock, and Tony and Miranda fought over rocks to throw the next one.  The competed to see who could throw the farthest. 

Since we were by Louise, we stopped by KFC A&W to get some lunch.  I enjoyed a root beer float which is my favorite.  The self-serve diet didn't work, so I really sugared up.  I usually like to go half and half.

Life in Manteca: 11; ***Thor, **Taqueria Manteca,

I went to movie "Thor" alone at the $3 theater.  It was entertaining.  It is sad how he lost his girl in the end.  But wasn't that hammer something great.  I still am not sure if the brother was all evil or misguided or what.  Also the play of fish out of water, and encountering the new fish was very entertaining.  Natalie Portman is always beautiful.

During the time while family was away I went to Taqueria Manteca, close to Orchard Supply.  The atmosphere was so so, maybe worse for me being alone.  They served dinner on a plate, but with plastic utensils.  I also did not find the food very great, except for the chicken of the chicken enchilada.  That was great, but too much sauce on the enchilada  for me.  I also found all the salsas rather bland.  Now this may have been me this day because I had burned the top of my mouth eating microwaved food.  To be honest, nothing really tasted all that good.

One thing I discovered after moving to Manteca, and we had thousands of boxes to recycle (really!) is that there are recycling bins available next to the pound on East Whetmore.  They only ask that you follow regular recycling rules with regards to what you put in.  Since the recycle truck only comes every other week, we still visit there from time to time with extra boxes or other recyclables.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cleto Genelza: A friend and coworker has passed away

A friend from work passed away this week after a long struggle with cancer.  He and I use to compare notes with regards to our children.  His daughter was a hockey player, and he use to always let me know how she was doing.  I met him when she was in high school, and he would update me as she graduated and then was off to school.  Several years ago we switched buildings and I had less contact with him; but I would see him in the parking lot at times.  Then about a year he left the county.  Now I realize this was because of his illness.  So I want to let Cleto know I will miss him, and his family know that he was appreciated.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I live in the Town of Butter

I wrote a blog last week that Manteca is a sugar town. But now I am realizing that Manteca was a butter town before it was a sugar town.  In 1917 when the town was incorporated, the name of Manteca was chosen in honor of the history of the creamery.  I am not sure why, being a Spanish speaker, I hadn't realized that every time I said Manteca I was saying butter in Spanish.  I guess the accent hid it from me.  It is pronounced differently in  English than Spanish, and the local way of pronouncing is the English with the tea sound instead of the tay sound.  The creamery existed from 1896 to 1965.  You can read about the creamery in the Manteca Bulletin archives.

You can read about the sugar history of Manteca here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ace Train 8: "What a Waste", development where the Water Slides are no Longer

pictures from the train
The words "what a waste" are not mine, but those of a friend who also rides the train.  He was referring to the development around the lake where the Manteca Water Slides use to be located.  They developer who was building homes around the lake, has since gone under, and there is no more development happening.  I sure the developer had dreams of a second Discovery Bay type property, but it didn't happen.

These websites include the story of the water slides.  I saw a website with reviews and rankings.  Everyone ranked the water slides a 5, except on that was a 1.  The slides were very popular.  I understand they also provided employment for young people.  The second article talks about the cause for the demise, increased competition, and increased workers comp payments.  Government regulation played a hand.  I think I echos the general malaise in the California economy over the past ten years.  With over regulation business suffers and the economy is stifled.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mormon Movie Review: ****Faith in Every Footstep: The Epic Pioneer Journey


I found links in two parts to this movie on Facebook.  I have a copy from the distribution center at home, and it is part of the "Church History: Home and Family Collection".  It was originally shown in conference April, 6, 1997 to commemorate the 150 years of the pioneers.  It is narrated by the first presidence at the time.  Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust.  It follows the trek of the first company, while also talking of the handcart companies.

James E. Faust narrated the part about the handcarts, and made this analogy for our day.  He said, "In the heroic effort of the handcart pioneers we learn a great tuth.  All must pass through a refiner's fire.  And the insignificant and unimportant in our lives would melt away like dross and make our faith bright and tacked and strong.  There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who seek to do right and be faithful, yet this is part of the purging to become 'acquainted with God.'"

It was Frances Webster who used those words initially.  He and his wife chose to go by handcarts, so the money they saved could help others.  He suffered from hunger, overwork and cold.  Yet he did not become bitter, but was thankful he could become acquainted with God in this way.  He knew there were angels helping him along.

President Hinckley concludes the movie, talking about Ensign Peak.  "Rising above the Salt Lake Valley is a come shaped peak.  Brigham Young saw it in a vision before the Saints left Nauvoo.  He saw an ensign descend upon the hill and heard the voice of Joseph Smith say, 'Build under that point and you will prosper and have peace.'"  President Hinckley then explained how the leadership of the church climbed the peak a couple days after arriving in the valley.  Brigham said, " This is where we will plant the soles of our feet, and where the Lord will place his name amongst his people."

President Hinckley smoke of the millennial vision as quoted in Isaiah, "And he shall set up an aensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."

President Hinckley then concluded with this statement, talking of the pioneer blood which flows in our veins, "It's the essence of our courage to face modern day mountains and our commitment to carry on.  The faith of those early pioneers burns still, and nations are being blessed by latter-day pioneers who possess a clear vision of this work of the Lord.  The footsteps that made such a deep impression over the heartland of America, makes similar impressions in countries across the world... Step by faithful step we walk together to a glorious destiny, building the Kingdom of God on Earth, and preparing the hearts and minds of people everywhere to come unto Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the World."

It is my humble hope that I can continue in this work.

Life in Manteca: 10; At the Movies and Movie NIghts:***^" Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules"

This week I am dedicating myself to movie reviews.  Sheri and the kids have all been gone, all week.  It is getting old, but I am persevering.  Tonight Ty and I went to the movie.  I thankful I went t the funny rather than the action adventure as Ty suggested.  "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules" was really very good.  At times I was laughing so hard my eyes were watering.  I watched the first movie, but don't remember it being as entertaining.   http://billywardlefamily.blogspot.com/2010/06/movie-review-diary-of-whimpu-kid.html  I previously wrote a review of the first movie.
This movie allowed further development of the characters, and of the relationship between the brothers.  It is almost a coming of age, which is hard for seventh grade.  It also presents the parents and develops their characters as well.  I like the ending much better than the first movie.  The magic show was truly magical.  It had me laughing. 

This movie is currently at the $3 theater and I would encourage people to see it before it is gong.  It was fun.

I have also been watching movies on satellite, with everyone gone, and here are a few reviews.  **^"Alice in Wonderland" is very strange.  I am still trying to decide if I like the way they did it.  It is so different than what I was expecting.  I do not like either of the queens.  They are just too much.  Anne Hathaway keeps her wrists in such a feminine position it quickly becomes old.  However Alice, is a much more enjoyable character as she is the one who grows through the movie.  The creatures and animals are fun.  I like caterpillar and his wisdom, as well as the Mad Hatter. 
**^"Salt" is an action spy movie with Angela Jolie.  I must admit, I wanted to dislike it because of the whole Jolie/Penn thing.  I don't want to like her.  However I must admit the movie was entertaining.  Jolie looks like she could kick my butt.  The plot was also very intriguing.  The question throughout is whether Salt is on the good side or the bad. 
The last movie is **^"Did you Hear What Happened to the Morgans?" with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker.  The critics did not like this movie.  It is about two socialite New Yorkers being placed in Western Wyoming.  It is a classic fish out of water type story with a marriage relationship problem on top of that.  I enjoyed this movie.  The characters were a bit stereotypical, but I didn't care.  It was fun all the same. 

The biggest winner though is the movie about a seventh grader, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It really is funny, and it isn't potty humor, although the pooping bird is nice .  It is much better than the first.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"I am like a bone being pulled by two dogs, I am like a leaf blowing in the wind."

I heard these two statements someone used to describe himself.  I have been wondering if they are saying the same thing, or if they are opposites.  A leaf floating on the wind gives the impression of a peaceful type of experience (unless of course the wind is blowing too fast like a tornado.)  On the other hand, being a bone and having two dogs fighting over you does not sound fun at all, nor peaceful.  I have watched two dogs fighting over a bone.  The dog with the bone will growl under its breath while not letting go of the bone.  If it does let the bone go to bark, the other dog will swoop in and grab the bone and quickly run to a peaceful place to take its turn at the bone.  Whatever way the thing goes, the bone is getting chewed until its all chewed up.

On the other hand, even though the leaf may be going with the flow, it is dependent on the direction of the wind as to where it goes. 

So how about "I am like a the rudder of a ship."  This implies that not only do you determine your destiny, but you also influence the destinies of all those on the ship.

If you have a better metaphor, please share by using the comments button.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Appreciate People More When They Are Absent

Sheri has been gone this week.  She is visiting her mother in Utah who is visiting from Arkansas.  She is not only visiting her mom, but she is staying with my mom, she has seen a couple of my siblings, she has seen our boys in Logan, she has seen some of her siblings, and is going to see more.  Today they visited Aunt Judy, (Sheri's aunt) and the territory where she grew up, and where our first four babies were born.  She has also visited Temple Square and the museums there.

I don't fault her going. I encouraged her to go, but I am miserable all the same.  I have found that I have the most difficult time sleeping if Sheri is not around.  I don't know why that is, but I seem to have a harder time getting to sleep, and I sleep light and toss and turn and wake up a lot. 

I have not ventured into doing much house work.  My heart is not in it.  I did load the dish washer, but I haven't run it.

It is not like I am alone.  Ty is here.  But this house is so quiet it is unnerving.  Of course Sheri took the kids with her.

I have been thinking, I get a bit upset when Caleb is not here when I come home from work.  (He is often gone with friends.)  I think this is part of the reason why.  The family just doesn't feel complete without him. 

I contented myself by taking Charity to lunch.  She and I only get a half hour, so we did McNuggets and ice cream at McDonalds.  The company was nice, and she gave me a hug to say goodbye.

There is a silver lining to this.  Sheri is bringing Natalia, Ty's wife and my oldest daughter, back with her.  They are going to stay with us for about a month.  I know they are planning a trip down to Disneyland, and Sheri wants to go camping with them.  It will be fun.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Colm Wilkinson vs. any other Valjean

It seems.in theater, some roles define a person.  Colm Wilkinson was the Jean Valjean original cast for English theater.  He defined the role, and made it his.  There is nothing more beautiful than listening to his rendition of "Bring Him Home" from the 19 year reunion concert.
It defines the character.  President Monson quoted part of this song in conference.  Does that make it scripture?  I love this song, and have listened to it over and over.

There is a question as to which actor is best playing the part, and I think Wilkinson must be considered.  Alfie Boe does an admirable job in the 25-ear concert.  But he is compared to the original, which is not really fair.

I have watched Colm Wilkinson in other performances on You Tube, and nothing is as nice as his performance in Les Miserables.  He has been the Phantom, and portrayed other roles, but he is defined by one role.  I am not saying he does not provide a good performance, but one performance is bliss.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life in Manteca 9:Park Review

Friday I was in San Jose area as Sheri was in town.  Charity, our daughter, is in cosmetology at San Jose City College and did Sheri's hair.  She picked me up after work and we went to Beehive Bookstore. This is a Mormon Book.   I just browsed.

After we went to Goodies Restaurant; which is in the same shopping center on Bascom Ave. ***Goodies is an American type restaurant, serving dinner lunch and breakfast.  They have the largest menu.  Friday they have prime rib special.  Charity and Sheri ordered the half portion, which was sufficient.  I had patty melt, which I love.  They have excellent fries.  I enjoyed the clam chowder as well.  I always enjoy Charity's company.

This week Tony and I continued our park review.  I had big plans of going to three or four parks, but I wore Tony out after the first park.  We went to ***Valverde in Lathrop which was recommended by Amanda Porter.  We now call it the purple park.

The aesthetics of the park are nice.  It is behind the community building in Lathrop, and there is a very nice veterans memorial.  It was flying the u.s. flag as well as a P.O.W. flag.  There was a water fountain to play in.  There were six full court basketball courts, and a couple soft ball diamonds.  There was also tether ball and horse shoes.  I need a tether ball and horse shoes.

But the best part for Tony was the playground.  They had plenty of climbing pieces, Tony's favorite.  The had a couple of climbing walls.  I pushed Tony on the swing.  The had a dome net which was where Tony went first.  Tony also enjoyed the parallel bars.  Tony has great upper body strength.  They had a fire engine, and Tony insist ed I drive.  They also had a frog, so I was using my arm like the frog's tongue trying to get Tony.  It was a fun park. 

I also wanted to check out a red and white smoke stack we saw from the freeway.  It pertains to Pilkington's Glass.

"I won't let the darkness in" Lea Salonga; Journey


This lyrics are from the song "Journey" which I discovered on You Tube.  I have discovered an artist, that I have enjoyed many times in the past, but not realized who she was.  Lea Salonga is from the Phillipines.  She has been singing for many years.  I have heard her before as well.  She is the singing voice for Jasmine and Mulan in the Disney movies.  She was also Eponine in he first Les Miserables Concert recording.

This week, Theresa, from work, mentioned there is a new Les Miserable cast.  She was referring to the 25 year anniversary recording.  I missed it.  I couldn't find it on PBS so turned to You Tube.  The rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" is exquisite.  The way she forms the words.  She not only has a beautiful voice, but has studied and perfected her music, and is shows in her enunciation.  She also reflects the emotion of the song in a beautiful way. 

So with that beginning, I searched her name.  She was the original lead in Miss Saigon.  She was the first Asian to portray Eponine and Fantine.  She is married and has one child.  She works fighting hunger.  She has blogged about such things as postponing sex, "You have no business having sex if..."  I have enjoyed istening to much of her music, in English and Tagaalog.  She is truly an artist.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stockton Dance Festitval: Manteca, Stockton and Lodi Stakes

Caleb who just turned 16 is part of the 600 youth who participated.

The Lisa Project: Child Abuse Presentation in Manteca During June


I noticed a mobile unit on the corner of Union and W Atherton, in the shopping center, just off the 120. It got my curiosity up, so I drove by a couple nights, and then would try to remember the web address and see what was up.  I finally found the right web address and discovered it is an exhibit about child abuse in San Joaquin County.

So having been a foster care worker, and child protection worker, and having been a foster parent, I decided to go check it out.  You are given Ipods to enjoy the sound.  Lisa is the narrator, and tells her story, as well as the stories of several other children.  I am not going to relay the details, as I think everyone will identify with one of the stories more than the others.

There is one room that presents news articles and stories on the wall.  I didn't have enough time to read them all, but they are all local stories, and includes the story of a murder of a child not yet one in Lathrop.  The docents are very nice and well informed.  They provided information on CASA Child Appointed Special Advocates.  Also provided information on how to report abuse.  The cycle of abuse is scary, and the stories present several stories of this cycle--victim to abuser.

My great-great grandfather was a victim of Child Labor.  He starting working at the age of seven in the coal mines in England.  The work of children should be play, not work.  I wouldn't say I was abused, but I know my father and his sister were.  Grandpa had difficulty maintaining his pride during the depression and years of unemployment.  He took that stress out on some of his children.  There was one incident in which my father hit my mother, but we were mostly grown then.

Abuse, child and spousal, like most things, could be presented on a continuum from no abuse to controlling to neglect to physical/sexual violence to death.  It is interesting that in this country there were laws for the protection of animals before child abuse laws.  The first child abuse cases where based on these laws to stop the abuse of animals.

That balance, between parental rights, and protection of children is something that I still see.  When and under what criteria does the state intervene, and how does this relate to parental rights?  When do you consider the "best interests of the child?"  Is foster care the answer?  Most children would rather be with their birth parents, and that often plays into their attitudes towards foster care.   Sometimes foster care may not be the right answer.

But one thing that is certain abuse of children should stop.  This starts with a report to proper authority, and then they can decide the best way to intervene, whether the allegations are unfounded, or in-home supportive services, or removal of the child.  There is more than one option.

I pointed out to the docents that most states have mandated reporting for all citizens with regards to child abuse.  California only applies mandated reporting to certain professions (mine being one.)  But even if it is not mandated, we all have an obligation to protect children.  Perhaps we can be someone's rescuer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stockton Dance Festival

my only rehearsal picture
I usually don't do this, but I am advertising for the dance festival Caleb has been practicing for since we moved to Manteca, sometimes three and four nights a week.  This is where we will be Saturday.  Hope to see you there.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Miranda has Graduated

Miranda has graduated from Delta Charter High School, and LDS Seminary.  She chose not to walk for high school as she finished school on-line.  He did not want to walk with people she didn't know; and she really didn't go to school with anyone.  She did finish up all her credits, including P.E. on the internet.  She wasn't able to take choir however, which was her biggest regret.

 As for seminary, she took off for a couple weeks to go spend some time with her sister.  When she came back, she had lots of make-up work to do.  She got mad at me for nagging her about it, but tonight I am glad I did.  I got up with her for a two and a half years, and Charity drove her for a year.  Sheri has taken her since we moved to Manteca.  Seminary started at 6 a.m. in Cupertino, and 6:10 in Manteca.

Stevens Creek Ward 50th Anniversary


The Church unit that is now the Stevens Creek Ward had its 50th anniversary.  Sheri, I and family went to celebrate with them.  We were part of that organization for almost 19 years, which is about 75 percent of our married life.  We started in the San Jose 9th Ward, and became part of the Stevens Creek Ward with the reorganization in 1992, six months after were moved into the ward.   To be honest, we spent a great deal of our lives in the ward, and associating with the good members of the Stevens Creek Ward.  I can't say they are all perfect.  We aren't that is for sure.  But is a good group of people doing their best to serve God and worship Jesus. 

The above link will get you to some professional pictures.  I am including a few of my pictures.

Our trip to Big Basin through Tony's Eyes


Sponge Bob fishing pole

nose hairs?

the fire

big trees

Tony had a turn with the camera when he was riding in the back seat.  He took pictures of his toys and some of the scenery.  He also insisted we take a picture of a Scooby-Doo vehicle on the side of the road.  He was also being photogenic on our nature hike among the redwoods.

Tony, I, Charity and Caleb Visit the ***Covered Bridge Park in Felton

This is a park I have driven past on many occasions, but never stopped.  Well this last week we stopped, in between rain storms.  This is a nice park with two distinctive features, the covered bridge, which appears to have been used by motor vehicle traffic in its day.  There is also a replica of Delicate Arch in the playground.