A bad flu & California’s central coast video

I’ve been fighting a pretty rough case of the flu the past few days. Sara and I went on a family trip to the central coast of California last weekend, where unfortunately, my sister was sick. Spending a few days in confined quarters with a sick family member, running a half marathon in unusually warm conditions and then hopping on a plane right afterwards didn’t help things.

I took lots of photos and videos during the trip, hopefully I’ll feel better soon and I’ll be able to spend some time editing and then posting.

In the meantime, here’s a video I shot and edited on my phone (iPhone 6S Plus) for Sara’s birthday on Friday. This is the same video that I shared on Facebook, but this time, it’s finally in 1080p!

I think it’s pretty amazing how powerful phones are these days. It’s hard to believe that a phone can record 1080p video at 60FPS or even 4k at 30FPS nowadays. It’s even harder to believe that the phone has enough processing power to edit and render movies!

My (unimpressive) ancestry

I received an Ancestry.com DNA testing kit for Christmas last year. As soon as I got home from my in-law’s (that was still a little weird to type out, by the way!) on December 26, I provided my DNA sample by spitting into the provided tube and I shipped off my testing kit back to the Ancestry.com folks in Utah.

Providing my DNA sample
Providing my DNA sample. Boy my hair was long.

They received the sample only two days later, and a week after that, they started testing my DNA. I was extremely impatient and anxious to see my results; do I have an exciting or intriguing ethnic makeup that I was previously unaware of? Japanese ancestry from their occupation of Taiwan? Dutch ancestry from their colonial period in Taiwan during the 1600s? Mongol blood from their rampage across China? Something even cooler than that?

I finally received my results on Tuesday afternoon while I was at a brewery in Boulder with a friend visiting from out of town, Arjun. I announced, “Hey, you’ll be the first time find out my full ethnic makeup!” and opened my results.

With trembling fingers, I clumsily clicked on my results. With baited breath, the page loaded and I saw….

My genetic makeup, according to Ancestry
My genetic makeup, according to Ancestry
They're so specific about my origins!
They’re so specific about my origins!

What? That’s it? Try as I might, there was nowhere to see additional details or a more comprehensive look at my East Asian ancestry. And the reason for that, my friends, is because that information simply doesn’t exist on the site.

So after money spent and lots of time spent waiting, I am East Asian. I could’ve told you that I am ethnically East Asian. Any dummy off the street can take a 2 second look at me and tell you that. Hell, you don’t even have to look at me to figure out that I have East Asian ancestry…just say “Hey Billy, his last name is Wang. Take a wild guess at his ethnicity!” This was a giant crock of shit.

I mean look at this…people with African or European get much more detailed regional breakdowns. Asians get three giant swaths of land to define our DNA: East, Central and South. It could be worse though…North, Central and South America are all lumped into the same giant genetic classification.

Africans and Caucasians get a nice breakdown of their ethnic origins...
Africans and Europeans get a nice breakdown of their ethnic origins…

I guess maybe my expectations were higher than what would realistically be delivered, given the limitations of Ancestry’s Asian DNA pool. They should probably put that disclaimer on their website somewhere. I wonder how other DNA testing sites like 23andme, YourFamilyTree, National Geographic and others would have done comparatively.

I guess it’s not all bad though…after I got over the fact that I wouldn’t get any further details, the 9% Polynesian was kind of intriguing and opened the door to lots of questions. Does the Polynesian come from my mom’s side or dad’s side? How many generations back? There might be a good chance that one or more of my ancestors was a Taiwanese aboriginal. These questioned fueled some research (a term I am using very loosely here) into the Out-of-Taiwan migration model that suggests the Taiwanese were the original Austronesians that migrated to the Philippines, Indonesia and the Pacific islands. I have just began to broach this topic, so hopefully I can learn more about this soon.

So as upset as I initially was about my DNA results, it wasn’t a total bust. I have something to learn about now and my family has a small conversation piece. If I find out anything good, I’ll be sure to post an update!

Blog and web relaunch

Well, I’m back up and running.

Long story short, my entire website got deleted about six weeks ago. Not just my blog, but everything on my web server. My hosting provider, 1and1, was not particularly helpful when looking for the root cause of the deletion. I want to blame my hosting provider or some other nefarious third party for screwing the pooch and losing all my data, and maybe to a certain extent, I can. But at the end of the day, it was my bad for not keeping regular backups of my website. The last backup I have is at least over one year old, so not all is lost. I’m really bummed that all of my race reports from the past couple of years are gone.

That said, after nearly two months, I’ve finally decided to rebuild and refocus. I’m undecided on the focus of my personal blog, but I think it will still be focused on my hobbies: running, triathlon, photography, video games and more. Sara and my existing wedding website will transition from a wedding webpage and turn into a personal blog for the both of us to talk about our travels, life at home and more.

There’s lots of work on both fronts to get my blog back to the way I like it.