February 28, 2013

Let's Hear It For The Man!

The Man.

I am so grateful for him. Still. After 12 1/2 years. I work really hard and love what I do and benefits are awesome. The Man does me right. On a day like today when I'm cut down in the prime of life by some mysterious body-ache-and-laryngitis thing and am too sick to work, he pays me. He is paying me right now as I type. Thank you, The Man. I appreciate it.

And congratulations to my friend, Paul Lukas, who is celebrating his 17th anniversary of not working for The Man. He works really hard and loves what he does and feels the lack of bennies are an o.k. tradeoff for being self-employed and never going into an office again.

Vive La Difference!

February 9, 2013

Botched Gwyneth Restoration

This "Photoshop fail" of Gwyneth Paltrow reminded me of something:

Peg Leg Bates

The name Peg-Leg Bates turned up in one of my vintage boxing magazines recently. 

With a name like that, I had to know more. I found a nice biographies here, and here

Want to know more? Check out back issues of Billboard here.

He was a one-legged tap dancer who later opened up his own resort in the Catskills. Several articles on the Web mention boxers going there to train for upcoming prize fights. He died the night after a celebration in his honor in his home town.

The man in action:

Frequently Bought Together

I was doing a perfectly routine search for a book on Amazon this week, when this appeared at the bottom of the screen:

Who knew?

February 5, 2013

And In Local Politics...

It's Tuesday night and I'm watching the city council meeting on channel twenty-something.

Our youngest cat, inches away from the tv, seems to be obsessed with public commentary on seeking bids for the building of a gender-specific restroom in one of our firehouses. 

Her commentary as a local resident involves pawing the image of our obstreperous vice mayor.

I agree with Youngest Cat. These people are nuts.

February 2, 2013

The 2.5%

Those who know me know that I love researching my family history. Genealogy is how I passed the long days when I was on disability and didn't know if I'd ever live a pain-free life. The anaesthetic properties of research were healing then, as they are still now.

After a long absence from genealogy I recently picked it up again. There are more tools, more digitized materials, and I can take my extensive amount of work I did the hard way and push further. DNA testing is one of those tools.

I wish it weren't so confusing.

I did Ancestry, and found that none of my Irish lineage turns up. Is that because they were originally Scandinavians who invaded Isles? And the Native American ancestry I'd heard about didn't reveal itself and was probably untrue as well? Not surprising.

What was surprising is that Ancestry, which has great search interfaces, hasn't done the best job at designing their UI. Browsing is for dummies, people. You need to step it up. Thusfar I have no strong matches, and no way to easily search among remote matches for surnames. Waaaaaaah :(

Now I'm doing 23 and Me. Not all of my answers are in, but the genealogical components are perplexing. It shows Ashkenazi ancestry out there in the distant past. And a splash of what may be either Native American or East Asian ancestry. Currently it's marked as Japanese, specifically, which would be a real hoot, especially given my interests.

I don't know what to think of any of it, as it doesn't exactly link up with the Ancestry information. Another feature of 23 and Me is the part that tells you how much of your DNA is derived from your Neanderthal ancestors. I now know that 2.5% of my DNA is Neanderthal. I told mrguy and he said "That's what I wanted to know!" 

You gotta love a guy who wants to know your Neanderthal count.

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