Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sitting in the airport you see & hear things

A group of 4 women chatting together using words like paradyne, server infrastructure continuity and drilling down and mining data. It was heartening to hear such tech savvy 40 something women networking and making business decisions. It’s not often seen in my travels. Data and/or IT has always seemed to be a man’s world. They chatted on this high level for about 60 minutes, using words that I may have to look up. Then the conversation turned to knitting….

A mother feeding cough medicine to her 2 year old. The boy wasn’t coughing so I suspect it was to put him asleep on the flight.

Woman from Australia who had tripped or was tripped on her flight from Sidney to LAX. She was being interviewed by a high level supervisor from United. She basically said she wasn’t going to sue but that her head hurt and her leg was badly twisted. She wanted to be moved to a seat that had more leg room. He moved her but didn’t put her in first class. He should have moved her to First. Idiot. I bet if she was a man he would have.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Summer Travel Season

The summer travel season has begun. I hate this time of year – meaning the time between when any school gets let out and goes back in session. This is the worst time of year for any business traveler. We have to endure the horribly long lines at the airport (thank goodness for my status), long lines for security, stupid people, delayed flights, screaming kids and over sold flights. The airport is so packed at this time of year its literally hard to move around.

Since I have status I can bypass all of this – however, the line currently to check-in at United is an hour and ½ long. The line for outside baggage check is ½ an hour. The inside security line is an hour. The standby list for the flight I’m on right now is > 100. That’s because of many people missing their flights or under the 45 minute limit for bag check. That’s new you know. If you get to the head of the check-in line and it’s < 45 minutes before your flight, they will not check your bag. If it’s too big for carryon then guess what – you’ve missed that plane.

I can’t wait for September….

Sunday, June 25, 2006

WNBA contenders

The 21st was a good day as the look of pure rapture on Ruby's face will attest to. The LA Sparks kicked Houston's butt and went on to win 7 straight. The best part of the game was Ruby yelling at Lisa Leslie as she went into the tunnel. A true fan. The game ended with Auntie Dawn managing to score some autograph coupons for the kids and them getting #00 Paige and Johnson's autograph. Ruby shook hands with Johnson and claims she'll never wash it again. It's wonderful to see how the Sparks treat their fans and especially the kids.

The Sparks are now in first place in the West with a record of 10-3.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Have you noticed when you're pulling $100 out of the ATM that it seems like a lot less cash than it did 10 years ago?

Monday, June 12, 2006

NGS Genographic Project - Eve > L0/L1 >L2

L2 individuals are found in sub-saharan Africa and like their L1 predecessors, they also live in Central Africa and as far south as South Africa. But where the L1/L0 peoples remained predominantly in East and Southern Africa, my ancestors broke off into a different direction, West. This L2 line is predominantly African-Americans. Not much is known about this genetic mutation and much genetic sampling is going on right now in West Africa and the United States to determine where, how and when this group emerged. It appears that although this is part of the migration my group (ultimately haplogroup X) did not follow this line.

See next post for L3 - Out of Africa.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

NGS Genographic Project - Eve > L0/L1

Previously I discussed the Mitochondrial Eve and how she represents the root of the family tree. Her descendents, moving around within Africa, eventually split into 2 distinct groups, characterized by a different set of genetic mutations their members carry. These 2 groups are referred to as L0 and L1. These individuals have the most divergent genetic sequences of anyboy alive today, meaning they represent the deepest branches of the mitochondrial tree. That's me :-)

Haplogroups L1 and L0 likely originated in East Africa and then spread throughout the rest of the continent. These were the hunter-gatherers. At some point, after these 2 groups had coexisted in Africa for a few thousand years, something important happened. The mitochondrial sequence of a woman in one of these groups, L1, mutated. One letter in her DNA changed and because many of her descendants have survived to present this change is a window to the past. This group went on to form their own group, L2. So, to follow -- Eve begat L1, and L1 begat L2.

Next, where did L2 migrate to?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


As we meander thru the people in the courtyard outside MOCA many things pop into my head. I wonder about like minded people. The people invited to this event have one common thread - they listen to NPR and have the means to donate a certain level of cash to the cause. It has always struck me that folks that listen to NPR are thoughtful, intelligent, liberal, to some degree at least, and open minded. The open minded trait seems important here at MOCA. It's the Rauschenberg exhibit that we are all here to see. (Or is it the free booze and food catered by Patina?)

The whole Rauschenberg thing is new for me. If someone were to ask, I could explain his art as, "he wanted to create in the space between life and art". I think that sums it up nicely. As I walk into the exhibit I notice these like minded, well educated NPR listeners doing much the same as I am. Some giggle as they look at a piece, some tilt their head at an angle perhaps to get a better view or maybe to rock the brain into understanding. Some stare purposefully making the rest of us wonder what the hell we're missing and some diligently read the little explanations....

Speaking of the explanations on the wall -- who writes this stuff. A word used in one was --scatological. What the hell is that. The only definition I could find was: dealing pruriently with excrement and excretory functions; "scatological literature" . I'm not even sure I really understand the definition but it seeems to me it's shit......yes, someone used a big word to describe a Rauschenberg piece as shit. hehe

There was also a lot of talk regarding the iconology represented in his pieces. Here's another big word after you've had 2 martinis. Iconology: defined as the branch of art history that studies visual images and their symbolic meaning (especially in social or political terms). OK, I'll buy that. But did he actually put the symbols there or are people just reading a whole lot into it? Here's the link to the Ram/urban garden "combine". What does the tennis ball represent? Some people say it speaks volumes. I can see the tire around the ram, but..... Ah well, it was a beautiful night to spend viewing art, watching people and thinking about how minute I am in the world....

Friday, June 02, 2006

Canadian takes 2nd in Bee

Today, my usual Canadian pride is bursting at the seams! What an exciting match on ABC last night as for the first time ever, the International Spelling Bee was televised on network TV. It was rife with stupid commentary (as only the Americans can...), controversy, humor and cliff hanging moments. Not to mention educational for those of us who haven't studied 98% - 100% of the dictionary.

Finola Hackett, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Tofield, Alta., took the $12,000 US second prize Thursday in the competition, worth more than $40,000 US for winner Katherine Close, from Ashbury Park, N.J.
Hackett was poised, her hands clasped in front of her, as she nailed several tough words to make it that far in the final two hours of the two-day annual spell-fest. She easily spelled out knaidel, a dumpling, and formenkreis, a group of related species. She even got dasyphyllous, meaning with downy leaves.

But Hackett, who began in a field of 274 competitors, finally got stumped on weltschmerz, a mental depression, and gave the spelling as veltschmerz. Frustrated the hell out of me because her Dad is German and she asked for the origin of the word. W's are pronounced with a V! Regardless, she's a proud girl and I'm a proud Canadian.

"I'm really proud of what I did for Canada," the teary youngster said after congratulating the winner on stage.