Well, I spend most of my working day making charts and graphs, so it's only natural that this carries over into my hobbies. Following are some vital charts needed to understand some very important things in life.
I've kept the charts to around 1000 pixels wide to view best at 1024x768 resolution or higher

The Payne Family Tree

    I got on a geneology kick when I started going through lots of old photos with my mother. Turns out the Payne side of the family were avid photographers, going back several generations. It also turns out one of my great aunts researched the family history and published a book about it in 1923, which was my primary source for the generations further back than Great-Grandpa Payne. Mom kept the book updated through to my sister's grandkids.     Mom dug through the old trunk of family photogrpahs and found some real gems. That's for another section of the website some day. In the meantime, I used them to create a second, simplified family tree chart of photos of my ancestors going back five generations!
    In both cases, I've tried to simplify the chart a little. I've done only the ancestral line that leads directly to myself. I've included the siblings of my ancestors, and their spouses, but not their children - that would result in an insane number of branches of the tree! Once the chart gets down to within a coulpe of generations of me, I've tried to include more of the family, like great-aunts and -uncles, and their children. I only went past my own generation in my sister Lynn's case, 'cause I don't want her to hit me for leaving her kids out. No offense to the cousins, but I'm trying to keep the chart as simple as I can, and oriented toward what led to the glory and wisdom that is me. Yes, I'm kidding, Lynn!

The Enterprise Chart

    When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek, he wanted his ship, and thus the world it existed in, to have a history. So the Enterprise (NCC-1701) was already 20 years old the first time we saw it. When Star Trek went to the movies, a new model of the Enterprise was built, but it was still supposed to be the same old ship after a major upgrade. She lasted for three movies before some loser at the studio decided he didn't like the design and they blew her up. At that point, she was 40 years old.
    This is pretty consistant with existing naval vessels of our time. The actual USS Enterprise, the aircraft carrier (CVN-65), was launched in 1965 and is still on active duty, after many upgrades, in 2001. Many vessels that took part in World War Two wer built in World War One. The Iowa class battleships built during World War Two were used during Desert Storm in 1991.
    The Enterprise was replaced in the movie Star Trek IV by a second Enterprise, registered as NCC-1071-A. It's never been officially stated whether the ship was an older vessel renamed, or a new build ship. I've always assumed it was new. In that case, when it was decomissioned at the end of Star Trek VI, it was only seven years old! Ridiculous!
    Then, when they blew up the Enterprise from the tv series Star Trek: The Next Generation (NCC-1701-D) in its first motion picture Star Trek: Generations, I lost my head. The technical manual states the ship had a design life of 100 years, and the producers wanted a new design for their new movies, so they blew up the "D" at only nine years old! No Enterprise has lasted as long as the original! The producers are shipicidal!!
    This chart came out of that fit of anger. It charts the launch dates and termination dates, where known, of each and every ship named Enterprise in Star Trek television and movie history. Notes are included with facts concerning each. Dates are taken from Mike Okuda's Star Trek Encyclopedia, and are considered canon. Unfortunately we don't know when the Enterprise-B ended its career, nor when the Enterprise-C began hers.
    But I'd be willing to bet they were short.

The Xena Chart

    Xena: Warrior Princess is one of my favorite shows. While at the surface a silly chicks-in-leather action show, the scripts have taken great chances over the years and given the actors opportunities to play everything from desperate life- and-death drama to outright slapstick goofiness.
    In the beginning, the show, like its "parent" show Hercules, the Legendary Journeys, was not set in any given time period. It was assumed that it took place in the ancient Greece of anywhere from 800bc to 1200bc, given the roving bands of warriors and plethora of city-states. But then the writers started adding actual historical figures like the classic Greek philosophers. Well, that locked them down into the 5th century BC. Okay, fine. But then they began a strange habit of having Xena meet historical figures, and take part in historical events from other centuries! While she took part in the seige of Troy in 1250bc, we suddenly found her fighting against Julius Caesar in later seasons! She even instigated his assassination, which placed a firm date for the episode at March 15, 44bc.
    But that didn't stop her from encountering 1st century AD figures like Boudicca, or, in the extreme, 11th century AD Mongol hordesman Genghis Khan, who was represented as the lacky of a Chinese queen instead of the great leader he was. As of mid 6th season, Xena's even been present for the death of Roman emperor Caligula, which places that episode in 41ad.
    While my reaction to this varies between amusement and outrage, one shouldn't forget that it IS just a silly little chicks-in-leather show at its root. I enjoy the high drama when it happens, and tolerate the historical stupidity when IT happens.
    So here's a chart showing the actual times when the real people and events in Xena and Hercules existed. So far it spans three millenia. I included Ulysses as the only fictional character because he's linked to Troy, which is accepted now as a true historical event. And I didn't run the graph out to include Geghis Khan, because, well, come ON already!

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