Friday, December 23, 2016

DNA Testing

Normally I don't buy something because of a commercial. In fact I can count on one hand the number of times a commercial sold me something. The AncestryDNA commercials are lame, and not completely honest, but they were able to sell me their product. I say not completely honest because in one of their commercials they have a woman from South America saying that she always thought she was a Latina but she did the test and found out she is actually Native American, Asian, and European. Um duh, and what did she think Latina is? The funny thing is this test has no genetic marker for "Latino" which is why I say the commercial is dishonest. Her test changes nothing. She's still from whatever country it was in South America and she is still Latina. If not for the Asian and European blood she would be a Native American living in the Amazon far from civilization. Somehow I managed to get past the stupid marketing gimmick though and was interested in doing the test. 

On my mom's side of the family we know a lot of our family history. My mom's family were British royals and nobles so the records were good. We know my mom was related to Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, Sir John Harrington (Elizabeth's cousin and inventor of the flushing toilet), William The Conqueror, and his great grandfather Rollo. On my dad's side we knew a little over 100 years back. And then there's Natalie's family where we don't really know anything past her great grandmother. On her mom's side there were rumors about blood from India or Pakistan mixed with Taíno and on her Dad's side Spanish, Italian, and Filipino. So after months and months about talking about doing the test I finally shelled out the cash and did it. 

So first off how does this work? I had a lot of questions that no one could answer, turns out it's on the website. Genetics of a population in a certain region change over time so what time are they looking at? Well turns out they took samples of something like 3000 natives from 26 different regions around the world and figured out what genetic markers belonged to each region. The only region that the natives have 100% of the blood from their region was Native American. British natives have 60% of those genes, Arabs 69%, European Jews 96%, Nigerian 69%, etc. So that is how the test works. So of course this tells you your DNA not necessarily where your family came from. It does and doesn't do that depending on circumstances. 

So what were the results? On my side not a whole lot of surprises. 53% British. I'm 97% European and 3% Middle Eastern. Shocker. Less Portuguese than I was expecting since culturally speaking I'm 1/8 Portuguese, European Jew and Eastern European which were a little surprising but not a huge shocker, and 3% Middle Eastern, I'm actually surprised it wasn't a little higher. Anyone that knows Sicily's history knows that Africans and Middle Easterner's took over the island which is why Italians from the mainland treat Sicilians like bastard step children. I told my family Middle Eastern would show up and I don't think anyone really believed me until I got the results. 

I shared my results on facebook and was a little surprised by the stupidity of some of my friends. People saying they are afraid to do the test because they might find something they don't like. WTF? How does your blood change who you are? The funny thing is one of the people that said that is most likely British and if you know British history were the Brits really any better than the rest of the world? I don't just know my genetics I know who some of my royal family were and they weren't good people. That was 500 years ago though, get over it. The most interesting conversation I had was with a great aunt. My mom was asking my great grandparents if the Paulins came from Germany or France and the answer she got was basically an I don't know. Well my great aunt Margorie cleared it all up. Apparently in the early 1900's the Paulins came from an area known as Alsace Lorraine which was created by the German empire and fought over in the Franco-Prussian War. 85% of the population spoke German, including the Paulins, but now it's part of France. I haven't actually read that much into the history of the area but it's on my to do list. 

So now Natalie's results. Before I spill the beans I'll share my pre-test estimate. I thought probably some Native American (Taíno) survived the Colombus massacre even though the actual Taínos no longer exist, then some Spanish, Italian, Filipino, maybe some Indian (dot not feather), and about 15-20% African. Turns out there was a lot more African than I guessed, no Filipino, no Indian, and the shocker was probably the British, European Jew, and Scandinavian. I'm the one that is a descendant of Rollo and I had no Scandinavian but my wife does. Not a lot but it's there. I guess over a millennia it's all out of my blood line. It would be interesting if more of her family did this test so we could get a better idea of where each of the genes come from. It would be even more interesting if we actually found out where her family came from but that doesn't look like it's going to be easy. 

Here are my results

In every region we both were below the typical native. No surprise there. This was the closest either of us got to the Native population. I have to say if genetics are this close to the natives in the UK 150 years after my family came here and mixed up with everyone else my family 150 years ago were probably all inbred.
 And Natalie's results.

 The range I was talking about. So in this one out of 40 genes they looked at she got anywhere from 2-25% Nigerian which averages out to 13%.
 As you can see the Native American range was a lot tighter.

So it turns out my kids are 1/5 African. These test are funny because they destroy people's ignorant notions that they are pure bred whatever they think they are. A couple years ago I wrote a blog post which mentioned a white supremacist that found out he is 17% Sub-Saharan African on TV. It was hilarious. They claim that 47% of white Americans have African blood. People look at all the blonde hair, blue eyed people and think that is not possible. Well look at my daughter.

I have to say it's a good thing I'm not living 150 years ago and no longer Mormon. Brigham Young would have had me killed. Yeah they have tried to throw him under the bus, but they contradict themselves by saying their prophets can't lead people astray. Plus they haven't changed the name of either one of their universities named after a hateful racist who compared his wives to cattle.

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." -Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110). It's on byu.lib so it's Mormon approved literature. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

San Diego

The day after Thanksgiving Natalie and I took our 8 year anniversary trip. The original plan was to go to Catalina's Two Harbors but when I tried to get a hotel a couple months ago they were already booked. I didn't want to do Avalon again so I decided to go to San Diego instead and enjoy all the amazing food and drinks the city has to offer. It turned out to be a really good decision because the weather went to hell that weekend and Catalina would have sucked; not to mention puking the whole boat ride back in a boat.

So Friday we headed down to San Diego. Our first stop was Lolita's where I had one of the best burritos ever. I asked the girl what is her favorite burrito and she said most people like the California but she likes the 2 in 1. Two rolled tacos in a burrito. I decided to go with that and it was amazing. I had a single Modelo Negro with lunch which left me slightly buzzed. I only mention that because, well you'll see if you keep reading. So after lunch we decided to rent some bikes and take a ride. The weather was still amazingly good at this point so we had to get in all the outdoor action before it went to hell. It was a little over 3 miles to the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge so I thought a bike ride would be the best way to get there. The bridge was built in 1912 and crosses a dry wash. It was a nice quick stop followed by a downhill ride back to the car.

After that we checked into the hotel and crashed for a couple hours. We woke up as the sun was setting and went back to the gas lamp district for some food and beer. We spent the next couple hours at Quad Ale House then headed to the hotel and crashed out by 9. We had to save all our energy for the next day.

The next day was a busy one. After breakfast we headed over to the USS Midway Museum for what was supposed to be a 3 hour tour. The weather started getting rough, wait this is sounding like Gilligan's Island. But really, the weather turned to poo just as we got to the boat. The three hour tour turned into four and we had to bail out before trying the flight simulator. 

So next we took the trolley over to Little Italy and had to run through the rain with cheap ponchos from 7 Eleven that were pretty much useless. I heard Buon Appetito is good so I wanted to check it out. In my entire life I have had lasagna at exactly two restaurants that was good. This was one of them. Our stop there didn't start out good. We got seated and were ignored for 10 minutes while people were ordering around us. Once the waitress realized it she quickly fixed the situation and even threw in free dessert. I have to say I was very impressed with the food. I had the best beer of the entire weekend there, Eel River Blonde Ale. 

After dinner we went to Half Door Brewery and had some more beer. I wasn't too impressed so we went out looking for some better beer. However it was cold and I was wearing shorts like an idiot so we had to stop at the mall and get some warmer clothes. I bought my first scarf that night and learned one scarf is like wearing two sweaters. So now that I was warm we could hit the street again. When we got to the gas lamp we walked in a square around the same area for a half hour looking for some place that didn't look lame but wasn't full of nasty drunks and ass sweat. So we eventually stopped at Union something where I had a mediocre mojito, a really good Coco Lopez, and a shot of whiskey. Remember when I mentioned that one beer the previous day had me buzzed? Well here I was 5 drinks in and feeling nothing. That lasagna coated my stomach real good. 

So after a quick stop at the hotel we went over to the Kilt Lifter but they were closed except the bar. So we both had a Stella and left. Eventually we ended up at this house converted into a bar. Don't ask me what it was called, I have no freakin clue. All I know is we had 2 more beers while we played scrabble. Natalie talked a lot of crap about how good she is but had to quit mid game because she could no longer formulate a word with more than three letters. So us old folks who crashed out at 9 the night before made it to midnight thirty that morning. When I got back I took a shower and I crashed out and had the best sleep in a long time. 

The next morning before leaving we stopped at Rei De Gado for some steak. I wouldn't be me if I didn't eat so much steak that I was in pain that night. I regret nothing.

At the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge. There was a house for sale on the other side for 1.5 million. I'm kinda surprised that those people live in such a nice location but they don't cleanup the hill behind them.

We had a corner room on the 25th floor of the Hilton.

At Quad Ale House
Such a nice area except for the fact that the homeless were everywhere and on drugs. This lady kept doing some funny dance. One guy was actually in the middle of the street with his arms in the air yelling at God.
The Midway

The last action the Midway had was desert storm. The maps behind me are from Iraq.

I remember seeing tubes like this in a museum in San Jose when I was a kid.
Don't get the wrong knob.
On our way up to the bridge.

The captains seat. The funny thing is the captain doesn't actually steer the boat or control the speed.
Looking at the Carl Vinson and Theodore Roosevelt.

My favorite WWII plane. The F-4U Corsair. It's a sexy beast with an 11:1 kill ratio over the Japanese.

The engine that won the war. Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp, twin row, 18-cylinder radial engine. This beast was in the Corsair, Hellcat, and Bearcat. I already felt like I was in Disneyland when they had an F-4U on a carrier and adding the engine on display made it all that much better.
Last morning at the hotel.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My favorite time of the decade

It's my favorite time of the decade. Eight years after our country got hijacked we are finally getting it back. It's been a fun month. November 8th everyone learned how delusional the media is, I got 5 hours of watching people deny what was happening right before their eyes, I got to bathe in liberal tears, I got to sit back and laugh at adults that need therapy dogs to deal with their life, and if we're really lucky we might even get to see Hillary in jail. 

The day after elections I saw a former friend from high school post some BS about what am I going to tell my daughter. Well you can start by telling her that if you want to go somewhere in life don't do it by riding off the coattails of a dirty cheating husband. Go out and actually accomplish something. Having a vagina is not an accomplishment. Teach your daughter that if you break laws, defend rapist, steal, murder, treat people like dirt, etc, etc, etc, it's eventually going to catch up with you. What would you tell your daughter if she won? You could have all this if you just take your country to the drive thru? I'm so relieved we don't have to deal with 8 more years of this crap. Not that I'm a huge fan of Trump but I'll take the revolver with 3 bullets for Russian Roulette over the one with 5 any day.

Anyways enough of politics. I could literally go on for hours about this. What else happened this month? 

Last week we headed out to California for Thanksgiving. The time finally had arrived to undo some of the weeks of a stricter diet. While I was out there I decided to go through the attic and dig up my old hot wheels and micro machines for Zach. We also got to ditch the kids and take off for San Diego for a couple days; a whole other post. Here's a couple pics from the last couple weeks. 

Hiking down the hill behind my house late one night. 
I bought a my pillow a couple weeks ago and Adri decided to play with the box. She kept farting and decided she was going to fart in the box and store her fart. So here she is packing up her gift.
Zachy Zach playing cars with me.

It usually takes me a few drinks to feel like this.