Monday, August 14, 2023

Dog-Ate-My-Homework Time, Again


The past twenty four hours have brought me one of those dog-ate-my-homework days again. I truly, honestly had good intentions to work on that WATO project, using a techy tool to help me decide whether Dennis Tully as son of Denis Tully might be a viable hypothesis. But something else was apparently in the works for my day, instead.

We had just arrived in Southern California, a few days preceding a conference my family is attending on behalf of our business. Settling, late in the evening, into our room at one of two designated conference hotels in the area, we drifted off to sleep around midnight, only to be awakened four hours later by the blaring of a fire alarm. Announcements in the hallway indicated that, while there was no fire, everyone was to report to the outer courtyard of the main entrance—where we awaited word of permission to safely return to our rooms.

Adrenaline rush aside, we eventually were able to settle in and catch a bit of sleep before being awakened again with a phone call that the hotel—which had parked us, out of desperation the night before, in a handicapped-occupant room—would be moving us to more appropriate quarters. The only hitch: we had to check out of our room by 11:00 and wait until we could "check in" again that afternoon. They would, as a courtesy, hold our re-packed bags for us until such a time as we could access that new room assignment.

Thus, left without my computer, I hoofed it to a nearby Starbucks and entertained myself the old-fashioned way: I read a book. No online searching for documentation for mystery DNA matches for me.

The WATO process involves setting up an abbreviated pedigree chart, widened to include theoretical generations which might tie us to the mystery DNA matches which trace back to that other Dennis Tully. The trick is thinking through the process so there is a place on the chart for each of the DNA matches for each Dennis' tree plus the preceding generations needed to chart each of at least three hypotheses. One hypothesis, of course, would be that Dennis is son of Denis, but another one, toying with the idea that the younger Dennis could be nephew of the elder, would require me to expand to a theoretical set of grandparents as most recent common ancestors at the head of the tree.

In the meantime, once I finally was able to return to my room and repeat that process of unpacking the suitcases, I did manage to gather my thoughts and reach out to a few more Tully researchers of that other Dennis Tully line. In addition, I finally—though accidentally—stumbled across the secret passageway leading to setting up those new Ancestry circles for family collaboration. More on that, tomorrow.

In this era awash with proliferating Karen-itis, I'm sure this past twenty four hour period must have been a nightmare of a headache for hotel management at our facility. As a postscript to the unfortunate episode, I do have to say the hotel's management certainly bent over backwards to send us on our way with a bigger smile on our faces than we might otherwise have expected. Hopefully, with a good night's sleep behind me—and barring any further midnight surprises—I'll have enough clarity of mind to tackle the WATO project for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. We went away for a night last fall, and were awakened by an alarm and loudspeaker announcement about 2 am! After peeling ourselves off the ceiling, we discovered the area had received a record rainfall and was flooded, especially the parking lot. My husband ran down and moved (fortunately we drove the truck) our vehicle to higher ground from the knee deep water. We really felt sorry for the adjoining campgrounds. It was just a freak storm. I'm glad your hotel was so accommodating, I am sure the staff was overwhelmed.


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