Laura Ann Wallace

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Please pardon the mess while I experiment with re-designing this place.

Very Old News Flash! INS agrees not to arrest Space Aliens!!

Review a murder investigation and try to help investigators figure out whodunnit!

Please review my resume.


My greatest hobby is genealogy. Eventually I intend to place links here for you to browse my family tree or retrieve a copy of my latest GEDCOM. Others have been more successful at getting around to web-publishing their data; take a peek at the Online Genealogical Database Index, which lists all web-based genealogical data out there.

There are a few comprehensive genealogical index sites on the web. The best, in my opinion, are Matthew Helm's Genealogy Toolbox and Steven A. Wood's Genealogy Page. You can find every genealogy-related site on the Net indexed on these two sites; Mr. Helm's is even searchable.

Anyone who likes a genealogical mystery should read something I inherited which I call the Withington Money Letter.

The software I use, which I highly recommend for beginners and experts alike, is The Master Genealogist. It is written by Bob Velke, who is both a genealogist and a programmer, so he knows what the serious researcher needs! TMG now has its own web pages at Wholly Genes Software.   You can download a demo from their pages or from my TMG page (which I am updating).

Low-Carbohydrate Eating

In Decmebr 1996 I discovered the diet for the rest of us-- for the people who gain weight and can't reduce their blood fat levels enough on the low-fat/high-carb diet. The low-fat diet is a hoax, at least for about half the population. Sugar is the real evil, followed by bread, pasta, and cereal. With controlled-carb eating, I have eliminated my hypoglycemic symptoms (and with it nearly eliminated the risk of inheriting Type II diabetes), lowered my blood fat levels (and likewise nearly eliminated the risk of inheriting heart disease), and lost weight-- a nice side-effect!

I personally follow the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, by Drs. Rachael and Richard Heller, available in paperback from Signet. This plan, unlike Atkins and some other approaches, allows you to have all the carbs you want as long as you limit them to one meal per day. So you never feel deprived, and there are no forbidden foods!

You can find information about their plan and other low-carb plans at the following sites:

Low-carb eaters might find of interest a page I created recently (see below) on food and drink in Regency England, as it includes several recipes for baked eggs.

There are several mailing lists out there dedicated to low-carb eating plans. Some exist to support each other on low carb diets (including recipe exchanges), both generally and for specific approaches to low-carb eating (such as Atkins and CAD), and some are for the discussion of the scientific principles of low-carb eating. Subscription info for these lists is available on the pages listed above.

Regency Research

Okay, I'm finally putting this on my pages. Ever since becoming addicted to Georgette Heyer novels in high school, I've been trying to learn more about Regency England. (The ultimate goal here is to write Regency-era novels.) I loved Jane Austen well before the current spate of movies and Jane Austen mania. Other addicts have found their way online too. The best Regency resources online are Kristen Skold's A Regency Repository and Cathy Decker's Regency Page, highlighted by her Guide to Regency Fashion pages.

There is a Georgette Heyer mailing list and a Jane Austen mailing list. Both are wonderful! The latter is more literature-oriented, while the former (a relative newcomer) is evolving into a research resource, while maintaining great discussions about the books themselves. There are mailing lists about other period authors, too.

Currently on the Georgette Heyer Mailing List we are reading April Lady.

My quest for knowledge about the Regency era has led to an obsession nearly as acute as my genealogical obsession. In the last year or so I have begun prowling the used bookshops in Chicago, indulging in a lifelong fantasy to have an enviable collection of books. Well, aside from a few Easton Press editions, my book collection is not enviable to anyone but another Regency England fanatic. The emphasis of my book buying sprees is roughly 1714-1837, or from George I's accession up until Victoria's, with of course the most concentration during the Regency 1811-1820. And yes, I have read most of them! I just don't have anyplace to put them... they are stacked around my apartment. Be careful where you walk.

If you're looking for Austens, or Heyers, or old Regencies, check out my Books For Sale page.

Another result of my participation in the Georgette Heyer Mailing List is a collection of pages for the GH Mailing List Companion.   I've created a page about food and drink during the Regency, which includes some recipes (and which is next on the list to update).   I have also created a page of notes about Heyer's life and the texts of the novels.  The Companion was originally conceived as an expanded FAQ about the Regency, with links to online resources about the period, but over the last few months as the List has grown and it has become apparent that there are frequent textual questions about the novels themselves. 

Another set of pages I have contributed to The Companion is a long-promised Titles Site which attempts to explain the confusing workings of the British peerage.  (It was cited favorably in a newsletter a couple of months ago by Novelists, Inc.!)  Version 2.5 divides it from one unwieldly page into chapter-pages.  Some questions from readers have show me that I need to add some basic introductory material, so that will be next.  Then hopefully I will be adding frames.  (If you know how to create pop-up windows for footnotes, please help me!)

Classical Music

I have a degree in music history from Loyola University, New Orleans. I'm saving up to buy a piano, but in the meantime my musical outlet is in singing. I am a member of the choir at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church (11 a.m. Mass, 700 West Belmont), under the direction of William Ferris, who is also founder and conductor of the renowned William Ferris Chorale.

I am also a member of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1996, now under the direction of Stephen Alltop. Apollo performs Handel's Messiah at Orchestra Hall during the Christmas Season, and presents a Cathedral Concert (at St. Peter's Church in the Loop) in early March and then a major work in the late spring. Two years ago we sang Mendelssohn's Elijah, with Sherrill Milnes in the title role; last spring, in celebration of our 125th anniversary, we presented Apollo's Top Ten, favorite selections from the ten most-performed works in our history. This spring the program features Verdi's Requiem. With the new acoustics in the redesigned Orchestra Hall, it should be spectacular!

Hoc anno ego pro certo abuti modo subiunctivo desinam.

(If you understood that, send me mail!)

Reading material.
In my spare time <ahem>, I try to keep up with the paper versions of The Weekly Standard, The New Republic and The Economist. The latter also publishes d.Comm, an electronic magazine. For quickie news updates, try Pathfinder's News Now. (For my fiction diet, check out my books page.)
Of course, no one's daily allowance of soundbite news is complete without the comics. My current favorite is Dilbert, but of course Calvin and Hobbes will always hold a special place in my heart. Robotman is another old favorite; and now that I'm a WebSurfer, my week is not complete without Dr. Fun.

Although I'm not a programmer, I consider myself a bona fide computer geek. Some people don't like the word, but I do! I got hooked on word processors in the eighth grade (PerfectWriter on a Kaypro II using CP/M with 64K of RAM and two single-sided 360K floppies!), lugged a "laptop" (a Zenith T-184 286 which weighed 15 pounds!) to Europe for my semester abroad, and took all of my class notes in law school on a notebook computer. My less-computer-literate friends think I'm a computer goddess and come to me to get all of their computer woes solved ("is the printer turned on?"). Of course, communicating with others online is the best part, and I've been calling BBSes for years. Here in Chicago, the only one to call is Chinet. It's the original BBS, as in: they invented it. Now it's a UNIX system, but it still includes a BBS of sorts, with a new web-based interface to the old UNIX-based conferencing system. You can just browse if you like, or participate without getting a formal UNIX account, or you can telnet to Chinet and log in as "newuser" to create an account and use the original text-based YAPP interface. Tell Randy I sent you. (Maybe he won't delete my account!) BTW, it has come to my attention that certain body parts of mine are featured on Atheana's page. Also, there are sometimes pictures of me on the various Chinet home pages.

More proof I'm a geek: review my television viewing habits. I don't watch sitcoms, not even Seinfeld or Ally McBeal or Friends or Chicago Hope. I hate the Simpsons. No, I faithfully watch re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and of course Deep Space Nine and Voyager. But one of the best web sites I've seen for science fiction TV junkies is the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. That guy has way too much time on his hands, but I'm grateful. If you miss an episode, you can be lost, and his summaries and analyses help fill in the gaps. If you've watched that show a few times and been very confused, check out this web site.
Can you believe Lucas Arts released a 20th Anniversary edition of Star Wars?? I guess I'm no longer a kid.

Silly Web Stuff.
There's a lot of silly stuff out there on the Web. You can do all sorts of things online. Play Mr. Potato Head! Inspect all the Coke Machines on the Internet. Play with a robot in a sandbox at the Mercury Project. Check how much coffee is in the coffeepot in the computer lab at Cambridge, England with Coffeepot Cam! And if you like cameras on the Web, there are lots more to see via Peek-at-You NetCams.

Virtual tourism.
I like to revisit virutally places I've visited physically. I spent the spring of 1990 in Vienna, studying for a semester abroad at the Institute for European Studies (home page now maintained by my friend and former teacher, Guenter Haika). I like Keith Waclena's Austrian Restaurants Guide. He also has a great Austrian Beer Guide. And I found a Deutsch Kochbuch, which is a great source for German recipes, auf Deutsch! And when I'm in the mood, there's always the Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook. Then for dessert, try Godiva Chocolates Online. Hey, wait, this was supposed to be about travelling; how'd I get to chocolate...?
Other places-- I spent five years in New Orleans while getting my completely useless but otherwise fun and interesting degree in Music History from Loyola University. It's a great city! Sometimes I wish I'd never left, and then I remember summer there....

The Ghia.
Since I've been in Chicago, I've been without my gorgeous 1971 Karmann Ghia. It lives with my parents at home in Texas, mostly because I can't afford to park it (but also because I still don't know how to drive in snow and ice). One of these days I'll put a picture of it up at Karmann Ghia World, and you can get all the gory details about it then.

And then there are some things that are just so cool they need no paragraph of justification...

L.A.W. 12 June 2004