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Dubrovnik and a Bit of Bosnia

Mostar, across the Neretva River Enjoyed a hearty breakfast this morning while listening to Lulu belting out 'To Sir with Love' ...

Sunday, February 09, 2014

HURRAH, It's Damp!

Didn't think California was going to get any rain at all this winter, but here it is at last. For weeks have noticed how the hills and valleys are bone dry and dead while in a normal winter they would be lush and green. Been raining for a couple of days now.

Of course, not everyone feels an urge to celebrate the wet and cold.

Mr. Should-be-paying-me-room-and-board

Hope this little guy isn't as miserable as he looks
Soggy California Tohee
There are in excess of 100 Cedar Waxwings and an equal contingent of Robins in the back yard today. Poor bedraggled, gloomy fellows. The Waxwings are wolfing down the Elderberries in a tree overhanging my backyard. I bet they ate every other tasty berry in the neighborhood before becoming desperate enough to return to eat the elderberries. They finished off the Hawthorn berries more than a month ago.

The fruit of the day are Elderberries
The Cedar Waxwings ate up all the Hawthorn berries weeks ago,
turning their noses up at the Elderberries
Or is it possible the Elderberries are only now reaching ripeness?
The Robins prefer the English Ivy berries that I've never seen the
Waxwings touch, though this Robin seems to like Elderberries well enough
I sat hanging out a bedroom window to get these shots of wet topped Waxwings

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Mandinka Moi!


Back in 2008 I started doing a bit of research on my family tree. At the time I had my mitchondrial DNA researched, finding out I am out of west Africa, no surprises there. Kunta Kinte, I am of your blood! And, a couple of months ago, the Genome project had a Family Finder sale and I decided what the heck, I'd go for it. I was curious if I would turn up with any American Indian blood in there. So... out of the blue today I went to the website and discovered my genetic analysis is completed and here are the results. 

 I am as follows:

Continent                     Population             Percentage         Margin of Error

African (West African)         Mandinka, Yoruba                      64.49%                +/- 2.54%

Europe (West European)      Orcadian, Spanish, French          21.90%               +/-3.44%

Middle East                          Iranian, Jewish, Adygei              12.84%                +/- 3.28%

The surprise, is the 9.56 - 16.12% Middle Eastern genes. WTF? Huh... that is a complete surprise. I was already up for not finding any American Indian, which I'll go into in a bit. That said, that I carry Iranian/Jewish and/or Adygei blood (and who the hell even knows what Adygei is?)  is a surprise.

Frankly, I think what is currently interpreted by the genome tests as Middle Eastern, may well mask American Indian/Asian genes. No, I'm not nuts, hear me out. No where on the planet was European, African and Asian so mixed up as in the Middle East. I've read when that mixture is examined, it tends to come out as 'Middle Eastern' although that may well include Asian, or Native American genes. Remember, genetics testing and such is still a pretty young science. I'm pretty sure that fifty b'jillion African Americans, whom think there is Native American in their bloodlines, but test out as having none, aren't just flat out delusional. I think the science just hasn't caught up with the reality yet.

Anyway, here is the map of my bloodline's sources - so far as current genetics understands. Wow. By the way, the Genome project periodically sends me 'hits' of people from around the world that are my relatives - most of them are 3rd, 4th or 5th cousins. Everyone has such cousins, but they're so distantly related to you, you could potentially have kids with them without risking genetic abnormalities. My distant cousins are indeed, scattered around globe, recently revealed cuzs of mine dwell in Tennessee, Kentucky, New England, Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados, Scotland, Yorkshire and Northumberland in the U.K. May I add, whomever you are, you are at the very least, my 52nd cousin. Hi Cuz!