Hello, World!

Schooner at Sunset

Ten years ago, with the same post title as with this one, I started this blog. That’s right folks, I’ve been posting everyday for ten consecutive years now. Who would have thought it possible? Certainly not me. It has been a life changing habit. I do more and I see more than I did before. Soon after I began blogging, I realized that I was mining my life experiences as blog fodder at an unsustainable rate. To remedy this problem I’ve vowed to go out and do more, see more, so that at the end of each day, I would have something interesting to share. At this I have been mostly successful. It has been a great ride. I hope that I have another ten years of blogging left in me. We’ll have to see how it goes.

No news from the scat-cam. Even though it did register about half-a-dozen alerts last night. They were all either raindrops that were running down the front of the plastic bag enclosing the camera or an occasional lighting flash. There was no midnight pooper to be seen. We’ll try it again tonight, but this time I’ll leave the porch light on, for better visibility.

We had a luncheon today, with Dorothy and the Ons, Don and Ron. These bike buddies and I used to ride together so much that Dave, in typical teenage fashion took to collectively referring to them as the Ons. As in when I got home from work, “Dave, did anyone call me?” “Yeah.” “Who was it?” “I don’t know … It was one of the Ons.” We dined at Mai Lee. 

Party Pooper

Stool Sample Pigeon

To the Midnight Shitter, please find someplace else to shit. You are now being recorded and will be sorry if you continue. There must be a 1,000 better places for you to shit. Please start exploring your other shitting options. Thank you!

We have been visited twice now, in the middle of night. Always, in the corner of the back porch’s landing that is closest to our bedroom window. After years of neglect, I have been staining said porch. I finally settled upon a lovely colored stain, Sequoia Red. I cannot think, but that these nocturnal deposits are in someway an art criticism. At Anne’s insistence, I have set up a motion activated camera to monitor the situation. Do-do, do-do, do-do, do-do, do-do scat-cam. Film at eleven! She seems to feel that when we go on vacation, we will return to a mountain of dung. I don’t understand why she is so concerned, because she won’t be the one who has to deal with it anyway.

It rained all day yesterday and then again into the night. What ever creature that has been doing it, probably was using the porch as shelter and doesn’t like the stain’s smell. Initially, I thought that it was a raccoon, the first load was relatively small, but now I am leaning towards coyote, because the second one was huge. Anne suggested that it might have been a group effort. Hit it boys! Every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you, party pooper.

Genetic Triangulation

Binary Sequences

Anne has been researching her ancestry. Using the website Ancestry she has been searching through public records, working her way backwards, looking for her origins. My Aunt Betsy devoted years to this type of research and I have inherited the several volumes of family history that she had compiled. I have a copy of my family genealogy that extends backwards hundreds of years. Most of Betsy’s work was performed before more modern methods were available, like the Internet or DNA testing. Anne is utilizing the Internet, but has not tried any genetic testing. Ancestry is one of this industry’s leaders in this application of DNA testing and has amassed a genetic database of millions of Americans. This is a database of sufficient size to almost guarantee a match, at least on the second or third cousin level, of every person in America.

This fact has not gone unnoticed by another big consumer of genetic testing, law enforcement. Last month, after an investigation that spanned over forty years, a suspect identified as the Golden State killer was arrested. DNA samples taken at crime scenes were entered into a genetic database and using a technique called genetic triangulation, matches were made with relatives of the murder suspect. Detectives used public ancestry records to fill in their family tree and identify the suspect. This approach is being used in other cases, like the Zodiac killer.

DNA testing is still a relatively new technology, but in its brief history, it has made tremendous advances. Even further progress should be expected. We are at a moment similar to the advent of fingerprints in crime fighting. People shed DNA everywhere they go. Unlike fingerprinting, which can be circumvented by simply wearing gloves, it would take a very conspicuous bunny suit to ensure that no DNA is left at a crime scene. Imagine a progression that allows the police to sweep a crime scene for DNA, like they now dust for fingerprints. Capital crimes are the likely first candidate for the expansion of this technology, but as it becomes cheaper to use, its use will become more pervasive. I wonder how all of this will affect American society in the years to come?