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Updated: 2017-12-27T08:17:22.633-08:00

 



Indeed. :-)

2017-12-27T08:17:22.633-08:00

Indeed. :-)



We made it past Christmas, New Years left to go, t...

2017-12-27T04:08:31.244-08:00

We made it past Christmas, New Years left to go, then the long haul to what we used to call "Valentimes." A good new year to us all!



Good luck with the bald eagle. Always good to keep...

2017-12-11T09:06:15.522-08:00

Good luck with the bald eagle. Always good to keep binocs and camera handy. You never know who might fly by. I'm always on the look out for the big guys too ... so I can chase them off. Someone always, not stumbles on but ... glides by .... the Bird Park during calving season. For them it's like a fast food joint. Certainly I'm not against a hawk having an honest meal but it's not fair hunting in the Bird Park. It's not natural so I invite the big birds to piss off.

And thanks for the welcome home. :) Are you all tucked into your new place now? By the photos you've posted things are looking pretty cozy.



Welcome back to North America! I am still waitin...

2017-12-11T05:51:37.847-08:00

Welcome back to North America!
I am still waiting to see a bald eagle from my living room window--I have a camera at the ready, sitting on the bookshelf there. I am told there are some around but so far all I've seen are these little tiny birds.



PS. In case you're wondering why I don't j...

2017-11-18T08:39:50.205-08:00

PS. In case you're wondering why I don't just go flush a toilet for the answer, toilets here don't swirl. Certainly the swirling American toilet would settle the question in one flush but here the water drops straight down from the top, no swirl.



Sorry. The sink here isn't the best for ascert...

2017-11-18T08:27:28.828-08:00

Sorry. The sink here isn't the best for ascertaining which way water wants to swirl in the Southern Hemisphere. South Africa is experiencing a major drought right now so I only did a quick test but the direction of the swirl seems to depend on where the faucet points. I'll keep checking.






Never thought of it quite that way--we here up in ...

2017-11-17T05:45:33.873-08:00

Never thought of it quite that way--we here up in the northern hemisphere are all under the same sky, if not at the same exact time, but ... the southern hemisphere--that's another matter altogether. How cool.
Please verify the water swirls down the drain the other direction.

Why do we always seem to think that, of course, we are smarter than other primates, when that is demonstrably not the case? I mean, there's book smart, and street smart, but it is perhaps telling that we have no word for jungle smart.

Safe travels. Time for my walk...



You're right. I felt like a brick murderer. Th...

2017-09-30T00:13:03.243-07:00

You're right. I felt like a brick murderer. The centuries had reduced the poor old thing to powder but it was still hanging together until I touched it and its powdery red blood suddenly started draining away. I think a part of me feared the entire city of Venice would follow, draining away as I stood there stunned with my quivering red tipped finger still pointing where the brick had been. :(



Hahaha, yeah, that's a good observation about ...

2017-09-29T11:47:29.394-07:00

Hahaha, yeah, that's a good observation about that comma, or lack of comma, on that national motto, sort of a "let's eat grandpa" moment. It's probably just a bad translation, like my bad Romanian. Also, I need 365 passports to be fully untouchable, so there's my new project. Just kidding, FBI!



Happy belated birthday! That was funny! See, you d...

2017-09-29T10:54:32.163-07:00

Happy belated birthday! That was funny! See, you don't need to know the language to get away with a ticket, you just have to there on the right day. Also, LOL at the "Romanian" transcript, I can only imagine how that conversation must have played out.



Happy birthday! Usually that's just a hollow,...

2017-09-25T05:35:05.369-07:00

Happy birthday! Usually that's just a hollow, empty phrase... the national motto used to be Life in Freedom or Death, which possibly could benefit from the judicious use of some punctuation, but "Keep This for Souvenir" works just as well.



The same to you.

2017-09-22T14:34:52.221-07:00

The same to you.



At least in the dog world, mutts seem to fare far ...

2017-09-20T05:22:38.563-07:00

At least in the dog world, mutts seem to fare far better than pure breeds in the long run so I'm fine with being a mutt. After all, what does "pure breed" even mean other than that the descendants draw from a smaller and smaller pool as time goes on. Inbreds, dogs or humans, don't fare well. Ozark inbreds for example or gimpy German Shepherds. The well runs dry.

One family photo from my early 20s always comes to mind regarding this. I look like a foreign exchange student from Morocco or Turkey while my sister looks perfectly Northern European. Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest" has been challenged by the theory of random luck, right place/right time. IMO, diversity is our strength not clone "perfection". Clones have nothing to contribute. How can they adapt?



Way to ruin a really old brick!

2017-09-19T10:11:15.389-07:00

Way to ruin a really old brick!



I meant to mention a little factoid I picked up wh...

2017-09-19T10:09:45.181-07:00

I meant to mention a little factoid I picked up while reading up on this stuff. The DNA markers NatGeo uses for Native American shows up ONLY in Native American populations in the Americas--and in very small amounts in two populations in Mongolia and Siberia.



It sure doesn't seem to be a mathematically ex...

2017-09-19T10:05:23.448-07:00

It sure doesn't seem to be a mathematically exact process. One of those probability things, like where electrons might be at any given moment. I think you're right though. My mother is one of four sisters, where the other three have a lot of family resemblance, but not her. Specifically, she looks the least Native American, as their mother, my grandmother, was a significant percentage of Indian. Does that mean I am less Indian than my cousins? In fact, that may explain why I tested out with such a small percentage of Native American DNA. It'd be interesting to have them all tested, including my sister.
It's fun, but as you say, we are all humans with some statistically slight differences among us. I had no African DNA, but I expected something weird to pop up due to the Sicilian connection.
When I was a kid, we always said we were "Heinz 57." Now, I'm going to say, sort of like the medium sized, short haired yellow cur dog you saw begging for food in Istanbul.



If I understand this correctly, again, DNA is like...

2017-09-19T01:30:21.977-07:00

If I understand this correctly, again, DNA is like a bag of marbles. We only get a handful from each parent's bag, not the whole bag from each that then somehow becomes a perfect "half and half". I came to this conclusion after seeing Lee and his mom's charts. He didn't get all the things in her mix. It blew my old 1/2 and 1/2 concept away. His Dad has passed but he talked his dad's brother into doing a test. His chart really blew our minds. Way different than expected. So don't throw the old family stories out just yet. Nature/nurture, right? It all hangs together somehow but yeah, DNA testing destroys the naive idea of "racial purity". Tosses it into the trash and good riddance.

What say you? Does my "marble bag" idea fit into anything you've read on the subject?



I'm not sure how they do the Neanderthal tests...

2017-09-18T15:57:57.635-07:00

I'm not sure how they do the Neanderthal tests. Certain markers they know are from Neanderthals, or attribute to the Neanderthal influence. Virtually every person alive who is not 100% sub-Saharan African has a couple percent at least of Neanderthal DNA. It's an interesting afternoon's worth of Google hits.



I used National Geographic. The results were very ...

2017-09-18T15:54:41.559-07:00

I used National Geographic. The results were very generic, with things like, in my case, in order of predominance, Mediterranean, Northern European, Southwest Asian, ("Anatolia.") Native American, Eastern Asian (?). The clinker was about half the amount of Native American that I expected, making my grandmother only 1/4 Indian, instead of at least half. I guess for her the rest was French, (fur trappers?) which explained the greater than 1/4 Mediterranean that I expected in my DNA. And so on and so on. I took away the idea that 1.) there are no "white" people, and 2.) throw the family stories out the window. You are what you are. OH, and 3.) We are all pretty damn exotic! Darset never had her DNA tested, but I'm pretty sure she was a Viking.



I used ancestry.com. How about you? Yes, I agree...

2017-09-18T02:26:33.757-07:00

I used ancestry.com. How about you?

Yes, I agree with you. I think the results probably surprise most people. Of course this is totally simplistic but the way I see genetic inheritance now is that each parent has a bag of marbles but only contributes a handful to each child. Don't quote me on this but this is how I explain why my sister and I look so different different. I got a more DNA from the Mediterranean than she did. Anyway, Neanderthal DNA, eh? I didn't realize it went back that far.



I did the DNA thing and it didn't correspond w...

2017-09-17T19:36:01.231-07:00

I did the DNA thing and it didn't correspond with the family history that I thought I knew! (probably a common occurrence.) Probably the most fun part was the higher than average percentage of Neanderthal DNA. Hmm. What outfit did you use for your DNA testing?



That would be hard. A couple of my relatives did s...

2017-09-17T02:22:03.464-07:00

That would be hard. A couple of my relatives did some unraveling of our family roots but they both had to go to Europe to do it. Not something I'd want to do. I really did enjoy doing a DNA test though. It was really surprising to see where that led. Turns out I have ancestors all over Europe and even in Africa. I liked that part best . . . Africa, India and even a bit of Russian Jew. Wonderful.



re history being wildly complicated, I'm findi...

2017-09-11T05:08:05.137-07:00

re history being wildly complicated, I'm finding this out as I try to research my family in Naples and Sicily in the 1700s. Good grief. This may be why this part of the world, especially the Balkans and Anatolia, doesn't get much coverage in World History classes in grade school and high school--it's just too damn convoluted. Much easier to stick with the standard "Western Civilization" and wish everybody luck.



Hey Roy. YES! That and a recap of our most recent ...

2017-08-31T23:40:10.643-07:00

Hey Roy. YES! That and a recap of our most recent whereabouts is in the works. God of god, it all takes so long what with downloading, sorting through and finally finally uploading a few photos to flickr so I can post them on blogger without blogger immediately deleting them because I am over the limit ... all that takes more time than I have but I am working on it. In the meantime, I hope you are preparing a new post for Blogorhmah!

At the moment the church bells are ringing and the town dogs are howling. It's a ritual I suppose goes back thousands of years, dogs howling at bells and, once again I am out of time, because today we are going on a Sophia church crawl! :O



I sincerely hope that eventually there will be an ...

2017-08-31T20:45:03.845-07:00

I sincerely hope that eventually there will be an explanation of a "church crawl." So, just biding my time.