Friday, July 31, 2015

I spit into a tube and sent it off to Ancestry.com. The results arrived.

I am primarily western Europe- 40 percent, with 30 percent England and 15 percent Irish. This is what I suspected already, based on the over 35 years of genealogical research I have conducted.

The surprise was in the smaller amounts:

4 percent Iberian peninsula
4 percent Italy/Greece
2 eastern Europe
2 percent Scandinavian (I knew I had some Swedish more than 10 generations back)
2 percent Jewish
1 percent Caucasus

Who these people are I haven't a clue. I'm going to have my mother do the DNA test and see which places her ancestry comes from.

My maternal grandmother used to claim that there was Native American ancestry in her Clawson family. That has now been dis-proven.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I may never see a lion in the wild. Or a rhino or an elephant. Whenever I see photos of trophy hunters smirking next to these sort of dead animals, I become livid. There is no point to do so. The money supposedly being raised for conservation is going into the pockets of corrupt politicians.

Here in Arizona, hunters shoot sandhill cranes and bighorn sheep. What's the point? You can't eat them. They are just living targets for these shitty humans.

Members of my family hunt. I think it is grotesque, even though they gnaw and digest the deer, duck, elk, etc flesh. I prefer my animals wandering around alive. Guess that is why I have been a vegetarian since 1983.

Regarding this dentist. I wish only the worst for him. I have no sympathy. People are hungry in this world, dying from treatable diseases. And he spends his money going on fancy trips to shoot rare and endangered animals. What a foul person.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Remember when people took slides and forced you to sit through boring slide shows of their summer vacation?

 Road trip 2015:

On 3 July, I drove up to Phoenix and hung out with Taco until Craig came home and stayed at his place. Taco growled at me and then decided he actually loved me and wanted to sit on my lap. The next morning I drove north to Las Vegas.

On the way I stopped at Hoover Dam. The water is very far down from its usual levels due to the drought.

Hoover Dam.

I was actually more impressed by the amazing bridge that was constructed post 9-11 next to the dam, to handle the traffic that used to run across the top of the dam.

Note the smudge which appeared on the first couple of days of pictures on my camera.

I attended Ted and Mark's Redneck 4th party, wearing a costume I created.

Redneck patriotic Homer.

I stayed at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas. Would not recommend it.

On 5 July I drove to Yosemite. Once you get off the Interstate the scenery becomes amazing and there were very few fellow travelers.


I had lunch at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada. No onion rings this time. I stopped on the way out at a famous motel.

I did not stay here.

I took lots of landscape photos, but then after you look at them you wonder why.

Mono Lake.

At Yosemite, I stayed in the Porcupine Flat campground ($12 a night, but they got $15 because I did not have change). The next morning I got up and drove down into the valley early in the morning and looked at the enormous cliffs.


Nothing was open because it was so early, but that was alright.

Me at Yosemite.

I then drove north to Lake Tahoe. The route took me high into the mountains- at one spot over 9000 feet. Beautiful, breathtaking scenery.

I arrived at Kevin's house and we took Blue and Koa for a nice walk.

Kevin and Blue.

Later we went to see Lake Tahoe, which was gorgeous.

Lake Tahoe.

While Kevin worked the next day, I entertained the dogs, read a book, and bought stuff to make cheesy corn burritos and pico de gallo salsa.

On Wednesday, 8 July I got in the trusty Ford Focus and drove to the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, where Matt is a facilities intern. He lives in a cute little house in the woods. I really liked meeting the people there, including his friend Alana who was a lot of fun.

Matt's house. He built the deck.

OAEC is a wonderful place where people can come learn about organic farming, permaculture, woodworking, how to run a non-profit, and other things. The interns and staff cook delicious vegetarian meals. I ate plums and a peach right off the tree. The plant life was gorgeous and I got to see deer two or three times a day.

Flower in the garden, distant relative of artichokes, I think.

On Thursday, while Matt was at work, I picked blackberries and raspberries from wild and domesticated bushes.


I also went up to the pond and lay in the hammock.


The water lilies were beautiful- pink, yellow, and white.

Water lily.

That night, Matt helped me make a shortbread with blackberries. I had made a version of this at home, and vaguely remembered the recipe. We used too much sugar, I think, it was very sweet. But it was rapidly devoured.

Blackberry shortbread.

Matt has Fridays off so we went on a drive to see things. We stopped at the Pacific Ocean, which has a lot of water in it.


At Bodega Bay, we drove past the schoolhouse (now a home) used in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds.

We were not attacked.

At another ocean spot, we stopped and looked at pretty rocks.

Matts next album cover.

The vegetation along the coast is so different, of course, from Tucson.

Yellow wildflower.

The next day we went to the Armstrong Redwoods. They were alright, perhaps a little touristy. I would skip it. We went to Guernville and had bizarre Korean food and then to the RRR bar and hung out with Matt's friend John. 

The next day we went to a different redwoods grove near Occidental, whose name now escapes me. This place was awesome, the trees enormous.

Another album cover.

We went to the beach near Goat Island and saw harbour seals enjoying naps.

Harbour seals.

A little baby seal was so cute I wanted to seal-nap it. I don't think Puff or Snowball would like it.


I showed Matt how to make the famous chocolate mayonnaise cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake did not rise as much as it normally does, but it was delicious and quickly disappeared. The people at OAEC don't often make desserts, so I am guessing is was a special treat.

Monday we went and saw Jurassic World with Matt's friend Allen, after eating at a Puerto Rican restaurant in Santa Rosa. 

Finally on Tuesday morning it was time for me to go, so I drove south to Sequoia National Park. I saw a cute brown bear along the road, unfortunately being hounded by tourists. I did not get out of my car, not wishing to add to its stress.

I slept (poorly) in my tent that night and got up early and drove to Kings Canyon and wandered around Grants Grove. The picture below does not clearly express how absolutely enormous these trees are. One is over 300-feet-tall. 


I sat on a bench looking at one of them for a while, until I realized pine cones were falling down and smacking the ground very hard. I decided that would hurt.

On the way out a pair of deer looked at me.

One of the deer.

I drove to Riverside, spent the night, and then drove back to Tucson, arriving home on 15 July. What a lovely trip. 

And Puff won't leave me alone for a second. He was very upset that I went away for so long.

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