Monday, December 31, 2012

31 December 2012

Last day of 2012 and it was a pretty good one. I started off sleeping through the night until after 5 -- always a good sign -- and had oatmeal for breakfast (which is kind of a big whoop, but it was okay). Didn't do much except make a couple of ArchaeoBlog posts in the morning, but we went out around 10:30 to the PetSmart and Sam's Club for gas ($3.13/gal). Went to McD's for lunch, I had a McRib which is being fazed out for the year, so I have to wait until next December for another one. I ate it with a knife and fork with little of the bun since it's way too big for me to eat whole, and besides I was working out right after that. Marge and Norma were there and we chatted with them for a while as well.

The work out was fabulous. Had lots of energy and did both upper and lower body because I can't work out tomorrow. I walked to UVil for a hot chocolate, but had to make do with the QFC SBux because the main one was way too crowded. And then I walked home. Pleasant walk, a little cold because it was mostly cloudy and only about 39, but nice. Not raining for a change. All I did the rest of the afternoon was watch football, cook bean sh*t and watch a thing about Sheila E. She's aged well, still very attractive. Probably older than I am, too.

We walked to Riot Aid this evening, as I need more diphenhydramine. Yeeha. More football tonight, Clemson v. LSU.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

30 December 2012 (Sunday)

So, 3:45 this morning. *grumble grumble* Kind of a wasted day. I did next to nothing. First thing I watched a little documentary on the band Joy Division, who I know of, but were apparently highly influential. I had a heck of a time understanding what the people were saying and ended up not watching the whole thing. I vaguely thought about downloading some of their stuff but I probably won't.

Not much else all morning, I took a short nap and then sat on the couch and vegged out in front of the TV. Kind of nice, but wish I'd been less tired. We did the usual UVil thing and then came home. It was sunny-ish out and I should have done some yard work or washed the car or something outside but I still felt like crap so I just did some piddling cleaning and junk. I made pork ribs but the oven is still not heating properly so they weren't as tender as they usually are. We went for a decent walk up the hill and back down 75th. Cold but not bad, fairly bracing.

I did have something of a revelation this evening. I was watching one of those Dos Equis commercials -- The Most Interesting Man in the World ones where some guy does everything imaginable from fencing to winning gold medals to painting rhinos on the savannah -- and realized that doing some things well is really an end or a goal in itself. As I've mentioned here, I believe I only do okay if I have some big goal to work toward (e.g., getting some degree or other), and that many of my problems the last few years have been due to a lack of a Big Goal since getting my PhD. I've thought perhaps some other sort of continuous goal might suffice, but just what has been a mystery. Just 'being a good person'? I'm thinking right now that just learning how to do certain things well would keep me utterly occupied for the rest of my life. Writing. Working out better. Analyzing infectious diseases. Etc. heck, even playing my ukulele. . . .

Saturday, December 29, 2012

29 December 2012

Missed a day again and I blame football. Can't stop watching. What did I do yesterday. . . .oh, wait, I can't blame football (wait, yes I can): I was out at Linda B's retirement happy hour downtown at a place called O'Asian at the old IBM building. It was nice, not too many people there, but I had a half a glass of merlot and some pot stickers and chatted with a few people. Drove F. home. I had a great workout early that afternoon and will reiterate that the afternoon people smell and make a lot of noise. They bang the weights around and at least one person doesn't seem to understand the concept of cleaning one's workout clothes: smells like he keeps them in his basket all week and wears the same stuff. Ugh. I didn't even do some things because I couldn't be near whoever it was. Oye.

I think that morning we went up to Target and Northgate to return some jeans to get the dye tag taken off. Oh, I did manage to sleep until. . . .6! Wow. I think I took a Miss Ambien the night before and was almost out like a light: I went to the TV room at some point, but then was dead until 6. Felt great. For a change.

Today I slept until after 5 and stayed in the bed, even after the wine last night. We went out for breakfast at Burgermaster and I switched things up and had a spanish omelet. Or something, it had onion, ground beef, guacamole, etc. Yummy. Kinda filled me up too much though. We got my car back after lunch to the tune of $1400. Ugh. New engine mounts. It does drive much better now, but I am seriously considering what to do with it. I can't keep using it as a field car, it's just not suited for it and the upkeep would be far too expensive. Trouble is what to do with it were we to get another vehicle. I'd like to park it somewhere, but I'm not even sure that would work in the end. I mean, it's not a show car -- although I could probably make it into one, given the time to just shine it up and not drive it. So I dunno.

Gawd, it's wicked fun to drive though.

We dropped some cookies and junk off at Hair.Comb and went for lunch at a new place called EJ Burger. The person who runs it used to work at The Orange King, a Japanese(?) place near UW we used to go to that had/has fabulous burgers. It was a very good burger although way too much of it. I learned that I should pound the meat (heh) before making it, supposed to make it more tender. It's mostly in the spices though.

We also ventured down to the Georgetown area for an estate sale. Tough to find the place as Google Maps kind of got me screwed up, but we got there eventually. Nothing exciting, but it was a neat old house. Been watching football for the rest of the evening, although we just got back from a walk in a fine drizzle.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

27 December 2012

Woke up at 3 am and didn't get back to sleep, although. . well, the usual. Made for a dreary morning. Didn't do much except try to get some SPSS stuff working. I worked out at 11, and had a decent workout.

We went to NGate for lunch and doing some returns/shopping, wherein I got two more pairs of jeans: that makes three pair, all different washes and all free. In-laws spent way too much on an ugly shirt ($88) but I am not complaining about the jeans resulting from it. After that we went to TJ-Maxx, a discount store and got a new bed for the cats. It was funny, the Spousal Unit found one but it didn't have the pillow insert, so an employee went in the back looking for it, but couldn't find it, so she took us back there to look for another one that might work. While we were standing there I looked over at a bunch of pillows and said "Isn't that it?". Yeeeup. So they have a nice new soft furry bed. . . .that they won't go near.

I've been watching football and trying to stay awake the rest of the evening. For dinner we had leftover ham and then made a new batch of spinach dip and had the ham and raw veggies in the dip. Quite a nice little dinner actually.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

26 December 2012 (Wednesday)

Catching up here on the last couple of days; writing this in the morning and will add more later.

I think Xmas eve I slept until 5:30 or so so it wasn't too bad of a day. It didn't rain much except in the morning and IIRC it was about 40 degrees first thing and just a lovely morning. We went out for breakfast at McD's because we had some coupons (expired as it turned out) and was kind of jonesing* for a sausage McMuffin anyway. It was our traditional zoo day so we did that around 11:30, after the Spousal Unit had gone out go get my Xmas gift. Nice day at the zoo; several of the indoor critters were active and even the flamingos were yakking it up. It stayed mostly cloudy but didn't rain and the temperature was pleasant, too. In the tropical rain forest building a pretty little blue bird perched on the Spousal Unit's bag when we sat down in there.

We did some holiday cooking that afternoon and then went for the semi-traditional walk by Candy Cane Lane and around there. It had rained heavily before we left so all of the luminaria (bags with candles lining sidewalks) in the neigborhood around there were out, but some had been re-lit. CCL was okay, they don't change it much so it's not that big of a treat anymore.

Xmas morning I went and woke up at 3 but after watching TV for an hour I went back to sleep until 6 so I managed to avoid a complete waste of a day. We opened presents -- I got a camera and a remote helicopter! -- and then hung out. This year we didn't go down until 1 and actually was eating by 4:30, a surprise, as we had expected nothing to happen until 5:30 or so. Wasn't too bad, although no football. Got some gift cards and another item to return. It rained all day, nearly, but was not raining for parts of the drive home.

* Spell check suggested 'ingression' for that, ha.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

23 December 2012 (Sunday)

Christmas eve eve. . . . .fairly eventful day actually. Which started at 3:30 a.m., grumble grumble grumble. . . .no worrying or anything, I just woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I went out to the couch early, too. *sigh*

So that's how things started off. I managed to nap for maybe 30 minutes around 8:30, but that was it. I think I putzed around most of the morning, flipping between movies and football. We left for UVil at about 11 and did a little shopping before lunch. Saw some female in the Williams-Sonoma who was very pregnant, and was wearing a skin-tight miniskirt/dress. She was probably super hot before swallowing a beach ball, but she looked ridiculous in that outfit with her belly out to there. We had lunch at the wraps place, and I had a non-pork Polynesian pulled-pork bowl. Not too bad, although I wasn't that hungry; I think I was too tired to have much of an appetite. Over at the QFC they had some lutefisk in the fish case and I asked for a sample to try. I'd heard the stuff was totally foul, but it was actually pretty tasteless. The texture wasn't what I'd call delicious, but it was edible. The chick behind the counter was staring at me like I was chewing on a baby's arm or something.

After we got home I actually mowed the yard, as it needed one last mowing probably in October but the Spousal Unit didn't do it. It looks much better now and I managed to squeeze it in before it started raining again.

And we also found out Xmas dinner is not until after 5 Tuesday. It just irritates us both since they're waiting that long so S.'s girlfriend can come after getting off of work. I mean, really, she's not family, not related, not anything yet, but everything's revolving around her schedule. It just irks me. And we'll have to go anyway and stay. I'd rather just go down and leave around 4 and forget about it. Maybe we'll leave the house at 2. . . .

Grrr. Anyway, the Sea-Chickens are playing tonight and Russel Wilson is getting lots of attention. When they introduced themselves he said "Russel Wilson. . .from a whooole pack o' Badgers". Heh. We went to UVil for a few more items and eggs. That is about it. It's raining. Again.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

22 December 2012

Just back from Northgate shopping. What a mad house. Well, it wasn't all that bad, but there were a lot of people there. I.Am.Finished. Got the last thing this evening. Now it's all. . . .not relaxing because the Spousal Unit isn't done and I have to help. *sigh*

But I slept until 5:30! OMG. OMG OMG OMG. That felt so good. We went out for breakfast at Burgermaster and I made the mistake of ordering scrambled eggs, which taste like plastic. I think they use powdered eggs or Egg Beaters or something. I never learn. But it was still pretty good and I spent the rest of the morning watching the New Orleans Bowl with ECU and LA-Lafeyette (the latter won). We went up to Alderwood later in the morning and did some stuff there, and then went in search of an estate sale in Bothell. Eh, some okay stuff, but not a whole lot. I got a CD of Strauss Waltzes. We were going to take some other route back but ended up going back to I5, Safeway, home. Got a Pagliacci pizza for dinner, and then back out to Northgate.

Huskies played in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State, and lost by 2 points. Pretty good game though. Boise isn't the same without their old QB, but I was glad to see them win; I think they're one of my favorite teams. They're just everything that's fun about college football.

I felt kind of tired all day, pr perhaps just muftig. Not for any reason, really, just kind of. . . ."cloudy" I guess would be a good term.

Friday, December 21, 2012

21 December 2012

Yeah, Maya Apocalypse day. Nothing happened.

I woke up at 3 for whatever reason and never went back to sleep. I did nap for over an hour around 6:30 so at least the day wasn't a total waste. Did next to nothing most of the morning although I did transfer all of the photos off the camera and put them onto this computer. OTOH, then the camera said the memory card was full after on picture, so there's a problem. I left to work out around 11:30, had a very good workout and then walked over to UVil to meet F. Oddly, the SBux wasn't all that full, we managed to have a table, and there were several open, at various times.

After getting a ride home I walked up to the Safeway for some chicken and made chicken tikka with potatoes and cauliflower for dinner. It turned out well, if I do say so myself. I'd planned on putting it over rice, but there wasn't much there.

Showers, but sunny this afternoon and rather pleasant.

Quick entry because I need to watch football!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

20 December 2012

Ready for the Maya Apocalypse! Technically, I suppose it's already here, depending on whether these things go by GMT or local time. Hmmmm.

Woke up in the middle of the night again and didn't go to sleep for quite a while despite a date with Miss Ambien. Not a bad day though, but most of the morning was kind of a waste. About all I did was wash my pillows. And some other minor household tasks. Left for the gym at 10:30 and got there just as the doors opened -- lucky, because it was raining all day until about 1:30. After working out (another good one, almost back up to my usual weights) I walked over to the UVil for lunch. I also learned that Converse sneakers are not rain shoes, nor should I wear them with my longer jeans as the backs kept drooping down to the wet ground. But the walk home was pleasant, and when I got back I ate an apple and baked a cake and vacuumed the downstairs. And started another couple of pillows.

After dinner -- leftover burritos -- we mailed the washer rebate thing and stopped at Safeway for eggs. AND THEY GAVE US A PLASTIC BAG!!! A smaller one, but plastic and it helped greatly because we forgot one. Government officials are simply not bright enough to micromanage soceity and should just leave us the *#^* alone for a change.

So there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

19 December 2012

Today was the big downtown day: left at 9:25 and didn't get home until after 3. Yeah, big day. . . .

Well, it was pleasant, mostly. Spoke with C. at Global Health and won't start there until January, although she talked like it could go on indefinitely, so we'll see. I think I'll have plenty to do there and also as much research as I want. Then I walked down to Lisa's new building and we went to lunch at an asian place. . .not unusual since she's right smack in the middle of Chinatown. It was nice although. . . .eh, I dunno. Not as pleasant as it is sometimes. But it was raining all day and then I had to make my way back up the big hill to Harborview to catch the UW shuttle to the IMA. Lawdy, it smells in that place in the afternoon! And it's full of noisy young men banging the weights around.

We just got back from NGate for a walk. Still raining.

One thing I'm enjoying doing lately is writing my "memoirs", really just writing down everything I can remember from my past. I'm trying not to make it all about Me, adding in as much stuff as I can recall about what was going on locally at the time as well. It's really quite enjoyable remembering how things were and finding a way to write them down in readable fashion.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

18 December 2012 (Tuesday)

So why the (@$^( can I sleep until 5 but on the weekend I have to wake up at 4??!!

Yet another largely boring day. About the only excitement was shampooing the TV room carpet. I decided on that at around 7:30 this morning and it was done before 9. I was bemoaning it being grayer than when new, but I suppose it's nine years old so it's not like it's unexpected. But it's cleaner than it was now. I honestly didn't get much else done, except for doing more floors when I got back from the gym. I took a bus down to UW around 10:30 for the IMA opening at 11 and had a decent workout (legs) although my stomach was empty by that time and uncomfortable. It didn't really interfere with my workout though, I still had plenty of energy. I went to UVil for lunch after that (walked) at the wraps place, and then walked home. That's when I did the floors.

Poor S. (67) posted something to Facebook early this morning:

I just want to go to bed early. And then I remember my bed is a cot in a tent and it is freezing out there and all I have is a sleeping bag. And my computer has a virus so it won't start up. And the tent is home to bees.

So instead I stay up working.
 He also went to Luxor and got a rash and hives. I guess I'm glad I got out early. I'm guessing there aren't too many people still there so it's probably a bit lonely as well. Or comfortable with only a few people. But at least it's not 37 degrees and raining. . . .

Monday, December 17, 2012

17 December 2012

Not a bad day overall. Slept through the night even, until 5! Kinda didn't feel too well most of the morning though, partly because I couldn't work out right away -- IMA's not open until 11. =P I finished the report from last week and then launched into doing. . . .well, not much else. We left a little early for lunch (McD's) and then I went right to the gym and had a very good workout. More crowded than at 6 am, obviously, and mostly guys. There were a couple people there from the early morning crowd. I do have more energy in the afternoon compared to the morning, but I still find it easier to work out first thing. After that I walked over to UVil and finished my Xmas shopping with gift cards. Two of them got mailed out this evening. So, yay, almost done.

I stopped by the Microsoft store while there. Ha, empty compared to the Apple store. Wanna-be's. Although I still find myself kind of loathing Mac-people. Still vaguely hopeful that I can find some way to make Access stuff for portable devices, but no go as of yet, unless it's a true Winblows/Intel machine.

I dunno, kind of a dull day. Rained all night but had tapered off by this morning and was dry all day. Supposed to be colder the next couple of days, maybe some snow.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

16 December 2012

Ahhh Sunday. And awake at 4 again. And napped again. *sigh*

Again, kind of a useless morning, although more useless than yesterday because I did next to nothing. Watched a little TV after breakfast including the Sci-Fi Channel's 20th anniversary show, which was nice because it's probably my most-watched channel these days. Except maybe ESPN. Well, I dunno. We went to UVil a little early and bought some stuff at Eddie Bauer (40% off everything sale). And I got an apple slicer thingie. We had lunch at Pallino and Liz was there for a change -- she's graduating in the spring! Seems like only last year she was an innocent little freshman. I hope she does well after graduation.

I was actually kind of productive this afternoon, making banana bread, changing the sheets, and preparing dinner. It started to rain this afternoon and has gotten heavier since; we're expecting a pretty big storm. Other than that, kind of a dull day. . . . .

Saturday, December 15, 2012

15 December 2012

Why, oh why, can I not sleep later than 4 on the weekend?? At least I slept for about an hour later on in the morning. Grrrr.

Very pleasant morning despite the lack of sleep. Breakfasted on waffles for the first time in three months (yum) and then. . . .oh, I went through my iTunes and made a Playlist of all of the random songs I have. Many of them I downloaded for free, some came with the computer (sister). So at least now I have a wide variety of stuff I can listen to, almost like a radio. Need to transfer to my various devices though. I watched a bit of a football game (!!!) finally, Arizona and Nevada in the . . . some bowl. New Mexico Bowl. Left before the half and it turned out to be a great game, Arizona coming back in the 4th quarter. Dangitall. But we hit an estate sale, turned in my car for new motor mounts, and then had lunch and picked up the camera. I also snagged a tripod so now I can do somewhat better photography. Maybe even videos!

After that we hit Northgate and got a few gifts (none from me). Busy. We ended up parking over in the Target garage -- big mistake. Took almost a half an hour to get out, it was so crowded. But we made it and then went to the Thai place on 65th for dinner. Oddly, they had a nearly all-male wait staff, which they've never had; usually it's a couple of asian females and maybe a caucasoid (usually all quite attractive, too). Well, the guys may have been hot, I don't know. Then we got a tree. Nice little one, albeit bereft of any real 'personality'. I like to get deformed ones, but those have been hard to come by -- they just are more interesting to look at than a perfect tree, I think. Not really a "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" type thing, I just like odd-looking Xmas trees. More like they came from nature maybe.

Nothing going now except hoping I sleep properly tonight.

Friday, December 14, 2012

14 December 2012 (Friday)

At the moment I am addicted to the song Thrift Shop by Macklemore. Stupid. Funny. "I'm gonna pop some tage, only got twenty dollars in my pocket.  ." He's from Seattle and they filmed much of the video at the downtown Goodwill and GW Thrift store. Where I have hung out, on occasion.

But that's beside the point. First night I slept on the couch. =( Had a bit of an attack last night and took half an Ambien, probably around 1 or 1:30. Not a real bad one, but I felt I needed to chill in the other room. But I did okay and didn't feel too bad today. Fabu last workout (in the morning), too, I really worked hard.

After I got back I went up to North Bend to get the jacket for the Spousal Unit. I think she'll like it, it's purple. It was a nice drive. I like driving my car by myself. Didn't do anything except go right up there and then come right back, but that was okay. After that, it was only ramen for lunch and then UVil to see Fiona. Again, nice. Found a seat at the SBux and had a nice chat.

I dunno, a pleasant day. In the middle of the night most of what I was worrying about was how I was losing much of what I learned and the attitudes I had in Egypt. In part, I'm not that worried because I think most of it has to do with not having much to do. I'm believing the old adage about idle hands being the devil's workshop. Unless I'm busy I get bored and think too much about what I could be doing, should be doing, etc. The upshot is that to keep my sanity I need to keep busy. I'm guessing that this is similar to what people feel like when they retire or even when the kids leave the house.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 December 2012

Can't say much about today it was. . .well, it started out not all that great. Got the first draft of my English report back from J. and I really didn't do a very good job on it. I mean, not awful, but it needed more. Admittedly, I was kind of treating it as a rush job since it probably wasn't needed in the first place, so I copied-and-pasted a bunch. So I spent really most of the day revising it. I won't charge for all that time because I should have done a better job in the first place. But it's much better now and I feel better about it. Still needs a couple of figures though.

That's mostly what I did today, save for the usual workout. Well, and I went to the downtown Goodwill. Looking for old stereo junk, but they didn't have anything good. I briefly thought I'd scored when I saw something that looked like Genesis, but it wasn't. Then I went to UVil to check out Eddie Bauer for a fleece insert, but they don't have those. Instead tomorrow I'm going up to the outlet at North Bend -- they said they have one.

Mostly cloudy today, but it didn't rain until evening.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 December 2012 (12-12-12!)

Yes, it is indeed 12-12-12, or had we learned anything from "y2k", 12-12-2012. Last one like this I'll ever see, sadly. I've actually been rather lucky in my lifetime: I saw the turn of a millennium as well as a century, the turn of the Maya calendar (12-21-2012), and the comet Hale-Bopp which was utterly spectacular. When I was doing the Calvary survey I confess to feeling a bit sorry for some of the people who lived and died within this one century. . . .their entire lives were spent writing the year 19xx. For that matter, when I was a kid and we used to talk about "the year 2000" it seemed so awfully far away and I would be so old then (almost 40!). And here it is 2012 and I'm 50. . .and still feel about 28.

Apparently I've been sleeping very soundly this past week, judging by the comments from the Spousal Unit on my odd positions and something like snoring. Maybe still getting used to being back in dark and cold. But today I slept until the alarm, a rarity. Had a decent workout, too, although there were fewer people there today. The bus on the way back had quite a few people, too, mostly students.

Had not much to do today, but I finished the English report for Cascadia and did a couple of other things for them (maybe 1.5 hours all told), then finished typing in grandma's life history thing. Still amazes me the sort of simple life she had. Just reading about how her boarding school at St. Mary's Springs went was eye-opening, and here was what she and her sister slept on:

The springs of the beds were made with ropes and the mattresses were made of corn husks. The corn husks were pocked over, dried, and then put into the mattresses. They were replaced each year. Veronica and Rita shared a bed and were supposed to fluff the mattress every day. Veronica fluffed her side every day but Rita said she liked hers just the way it was and never fluffed her side. 
 And here I bitch about a mattress that's too high for the cats to jump up to. . . .

There's other things as well. You might think at this point that I would be regretting not being closer to old grandma, but you would probably be wrong.  I mean, I kind of regret it for her sake -- I always have, sort of -- but no, I'm not all of a sudden bemoaning the fact that I didn't hear all about her life and everything and spent a lot of time with her. I didn't care for much of the extended family, period. They all seemed mean to me, although from the writing they all seem to have been very giving people, always there when they were needed. But, well, you know.

But back to me! We went to McD's again -- hee! -- and in the afternoon I finally wrapped up the nieces' gifts -- silver cartouches with their names in hieroglyphs -- and got them mailed out. Also got gift cards for Mom and mailed one out as well (the other is being mailed for me). We got her gift cards last year because, well, she's got plenty of stuff already and doesn't need any more.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

11 DEcember 2012

Listening to Golden Earring's Twilight Zone as I type this. What a great song. Great video, too. Even back in the '80s it was a great video and it's aged well, I think. Interesting, goes with the song, and funny all at the same time. I was thinking in the City Peoples' that this is exactly the kind of song I liked in the '80s and why can't I think the same way as I did then? I.e., not worrying about everything under the sun? I dunno, maybe I should just listen to an '80s song every day until I get it through my thick head.

ANYway. Jack woke me up at 4 and I immediately started worrying about my Orca (bus) card that I hadn't refilled and what if I got on and it was out? Of course, ordinarily I would write that this was stupid and it was nothing to worry about. But it did! I was out. Happily, however, I had two singles and no problem. Even though it was a problem it really wasn't a problem, so I guess it's a wash. Stupid head.  . . . .

Had a decent workout though; it's final week but there's still a decent number of people down there, and even the females are there. One keeps checking me out, even though she's always with a guy -- who I assume is her boyfriend -- so I make sure I don't return it at all. I like the attention though, helps the ol' ego a little. Most of the morning was kind of a waste, I worked on the next report and did some of the paperwork for the other one. I spent a lot of time trying to get the scanner to work with my Mac (negative) and then finding some sort of drawing program for the Mac (negative, almost): I finally downloaded a trial version of CorelPaint. I'd like to get CorelDraw but they don't make it for the Mac anymore and it's dashedly difficult to get an older version, so far. I'll probably end up just buying the Adobe suite and be done with it, even though it's a decent amount of $$$ (well, a couple days' worth of work, once I work).

I did the paperwork for my affiliate status, too.

I confess I also spent a little while looking at the "personals" on Craigs List -- the section for I think it's called 'casual encounters' which you can use your imagination on. Interestingly, I found that the "women seeking men" had hardly any photos with them, while the "women seeking women" had a lot. Why is that?

Monday, December 10, 2012

10 December 2012 (Monday)

More to say today. Man, I actually slept through the night. . .until the alarm! That doesn't happen very often, and oh, by the way, why doesn't it happen on the weekends? At any rate, fabu workout, marred only by a lack of hot water in the showers at which I got really annoyed. I even walked out without showering, deciding to do so at home. I'm really fed up with it: ever since they went "green" and got low-flow heads, half of them are hardly ever warm. I even wrote an email to the IMA bitching about it.

After all that, I finished the report for one project I did last week and sent that off, and then I started working on the little thing about my maternal grandmother. Apparently my uncle had been working on it for some time -- sort of her life story and memories -- but now he's having some concentratin difficulties and my mom passed it to me. It's all fairly disorganized, but I'm copying in the latest version and will put that on a blog so people can comment on it. Interesting so far, apparently she was afraid of farm animals, even chickens. I should state at this point that I was never close with her and I don't think she liked me very much either since I was "an independent little cuss." I've prayed to/for her since she passed though, so perhaps some of that relationship will be mended in the hereafter.

We went to Mickey D's again and they had McRibs back. *drool* Love those things. I think they're smaller this time since I could almost eat a whole one without being way too full. Had to go to Cascadia this afternoon t drop off a check and some other stuff as well, and stopped by Lowe's on the way back for some new work gloves. Other than that we just went to UVil and bought some rum for cooking: Myers's actually. We used to drink that in college so it carries. . .bad memories actually. Don't like rum, gives bad hangovers.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

8 December 2012

Well, bad habits die hard. I think today and yesterday I started slipping back into old ways -- surfing junk on the Internet and not being at all productive. Also sitting in front of the TV rather passively. Started feeling . . . I dunno, bad. Useless. I kind of snapped out of it later in the day when I realized what was going on, but at least temporarily what I feared would happen did: I let all that work out in the field flit away. I must keep reminding myself that there is no essential difference between being here and there.

At any rate, it was still a fairly decent day. I woke up too early -- thanks, Jack! -- and made pancakes for breakfast, first time for those in a couple of months. Did a little work for the rest of the morning, mostly getting the graphics for the reports ready. We went off to the BBQ place (Reignin' Ribs) for lunch and then up to a camera shop to get the one camera cleaned up. He said it might not be worth it as it would cost $128 and we could get a similar one for less than that. Well, maybe not quite as good. But we decided to get it cleaned because it's quite a good little camera. Now I need to decide whether to get a second field camera and what sort. An iPhone may work quite well in that regard. We stopped at an estate sale, but not much of interest (except a Garrard turntable, but I have a turntable), although the Spousal Unit got a trivet. And thence to the Safeway and ice cream store. We got a chicken for dinner, but I didn't cook it hot/long enough and we had to have the rest of the pork instead. Grrrrrr.

Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won the Heisman. I used to not think much of that award since it hardly ever translated into success in the NFL, but have since tempered that opinion somewhat, since it's not an NFL-predictor trophy anyway. Still, it's almost always a QB or back that wins which is kind of silly. That said, I have no real opinion since I didn't see much of the season anyway. 

So, kind of a difficult day. I made myself change the litter box after dinner and before walking just to keep myself busy and doing something other than sitting around. For the remainder of the weekend I shall have to keep reminding myself that location makes no difference.

9 December 2012

I haven't much of any interest to say today. It rained a lot.

Friday, December 7, 2012

7 December 2012

Today. . . .was kind of meh. Mostly. I worked on the Cascadia report most of this morning and got a decent amount done but more needs to be done especially with the photos and junk. Much of the text I lifted from a different report. Have to work on that tomorrow. I got up at 4, which I didn't mind too much as I had a Diet Coke to get all nice and hydrated for the workout. I caught the later bus so I got to work out for a nice long time. Very refreshing. As usual for a Friday, it was mostly us guys down in the Man Cave (free weight area). I think one female came in later, but most Fridays it's Man Day. There were more up in the cardio room though.

I got flowers and met Mary at SBux -- her mom died a couple of weeks ago. We had an excellent visit, I don't think we've talked for that long ever. Chat chat chat. Her mom was 89 so it wasn't a surprise, but I could tell it really affected her, so I mostly just tried to cheer her up with talk of other things. The place was very crowded but I'd found a table right away, as well as a decent parking space, so perhaps I received for my giving. Very nice afternoon. I just stopped by QFC for some 'shrooms and we made Jew bean soup for dinner and then went for a walk.

I know, kind of a boring day. The Spousal Unit keeps wondering if I'm happy to be home, and I suppose I've been somewhat quiet and reserved. There's probably been something of a let-down after being there and doing so much and really having a very good, albeit very intense, time. "Good" as in productive and fulfilling. And here I am, back at home, doing next to nothing and not really working. I believe I had started to be concerned that something like that could happen before I came back. In truth, I've not been repeating many of my 'mantras' while awake in bed at night, or at least not as often as I did there. I'm guessing once I start working at GH -- now pushed back a week -- I may get some of that mojo back as I will have the opportunity to do work for others again and something that is important. In the meantime, I have to keep busy.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

6 December 2012

Interesting day today. FWIW, I slept until almost the alarm! I did a shortened workout this morning as I was driving up to Camano afterwards, and it went pretty well except two dopes were on the leg press for like a half hour. But I made it out on time and got to the bus. Lots of school kids on it. Can't tell, look like middle schoolers.

I made it out in plenty of time and actually got up there early. I had time to kill so I got a mocha, and while in the SBux Jana called and said there was another small project to do up there at the same time so I went to the QFC close by and got something for lunch. Turned out I really didn't need to as I was done before noon. The first place was almost all midden, which was expected. One location didn't have any, it had been excavated out, and one was covered with fill, but had midden 40 cm down. Will probably have to be fully excavated before they can do anything with it. The next one I had some trouble getting to, but I eventually got there and it was a nice house. Entirely useless project though: the place I had to probe was right next to the house and was essentially a planter box. Maybe if I dug down ten feet I might hit something. But he was a nice old man with a nice old dog.

Kind of a let down from Karanis, I suppose: a couple holes with some shell midden. 

Once I got home, I did next to nothing. Made lentil salad for dinner, in addition to leftover pork. We dropped some mail off on our walk and then browsed the tree lot (Hunter's Tree Farm) up by 80th-ish and 35th. We've gotten trees there a couple of times before. Pleasant little walk.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 December 2012 (Wednesday)

OMG I slept through the night! And woke up in the bed with the alarm! Besides in Egypt when was the last time that happened? Apparently, I snored, too, so I must have been out. My throat has been scratchy/sore all day so I might be coming down with something. Or it might be the dry air, I don't know.

But otherwise a fairly good day. Had a decent workout and then after piddling around some went to have the Honda emissions-tested, washed, and then stopped by Cascadia to get a screen and tarp for tomorrow. We went to Mickey D's for lunch again since it will be a while before we can do that again. And stopped by Riot Aid to get my some zinc lozenges. I'm not entirely certain that the clinical research on zinc and colds has held up, but I decided to try it again anyway. New washer got here around 3 so that's up and running, and I think I successfully backflushed the kitchen faucet.

One thing: I got the summary for my PH in Egypt paper from some South African newsletter and edited it up. I offered to go ahead and rewrite it myself. I'd probably do a better job of it and then I'd have more control over the content.

Otherwise. . . .kind of an uneventful day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

28 November 2012 (Wednesday)

[Another post that never got posted]
Well, I have finished. Got done backfilling the Bath this morning and then finished up the report and all the other junk this afternoon. D-u-n dun. I feel good about both; WW came by and was quite happy with the backfill and I think the report will be good, too. And she liked the slide show I did and asked for a copy. So, I feel good about my work here. Tomorrow I am still going out to help the ladies backfill their trench, which shouldn't take long really. . . .I don't have to but I'd rather be out there than sitting around here being bored. Besides, I like them all.

I also drove for the first time! Hamad handed me his keys when I was done early and so I drove home! Went just fine, although I couldn't figure out how to put it in reverse so I had to get Jason (you have to pull up on a little knob). Otherwise, it was just driving mostly. Won't do it again while here (probably) but it was okay. Glad I did it.

So, my work here is mostly done and then I go to Cairo early (like 4) Friday morning and then out.

I didn't do much the rest of the day, just tidy stuff up and such.

Looking back, I am glad that I came. I expelled a lot of demons on this trip, both kind of making up for past trips -- here and elsewhere -- when I don't think I performed up to what I should be. Provided I can survive the next two days with no major screwups, I will leave here satisfied with myself and my performance. And you know, I use the word 'performance' on purpose, not just for the work-related aspects, but when you're in a group of people you are always performing, even more so than usual in a situation such as this. In this kind of environment -- living closely with a lot of strangers -- you have to act much like you wouldn't ordinarily do. It was a lesson that I had to learn again, to put myself and my own comfort and wants aside, and put myself out there for the good of the group. That's part of the reason I'm going out there tomorrow, to put that last little bit of effort in to help them out rather than kick back and relax the whole day.

Can I retain this when I'm in familiar surroundings? That's the big question.

4 December 2012

Well. Interesting day today. Second day back at the gym and it was a decent workout, though still light weight. As I was cycling I was thinking about a lot of stuff, mostly what I did this Fall and what I will be doing in the future. At one point, I had one of those seeming moments of clarity about what I should/will be doing with myself when I decided that I will 'study infectious diseases and become expert at it'. . . .by which I meant I would sort of cast archaeology aside as more of a recreational hobby. And you know, I didn't feel bad about that. In the past, when I've thought about "giving up on" archaeology, I recoiled from the thought; I'd gotten a PhD in it and it was so fascinating that how could I possibly give it up to do something else? Well, I wonder if the worm has turned in that regard.

This last trip was significant in a lot of ways. Doing the Bath really got me thinking (more than I have been) about what we archaeologists do. Here was this wonderful Bath that had been happily preserved in the sands for 1500 years, and then we archaeologists dig it up and in 40 years it's falling apart. And the other work that team did has never been published and those buildings are falling apart. Our KeH work has never really been published adequately and much of the material and documentation has been, for all intents and purposes, lost. Ditto the previous field project. I'm really starting to feel that we -- archaeologists generally -- are lousy stewards of the past after all. We just don't think about the long term. The stuff we dig up we pay attention to for maybe a few years while we're actively working on it, but do we really think about curating it for hundreds or thousands of years? Heck, even keeping track of stuff over one career is probably rare. And I felt guilty that in the other trench I had been all excited about "finding cool stuff". I suspect a prime reason most of us do this work is to get the thrill of finding cool stuff. Which seems selfish to me. We can't even protect what we've already dug up and we're digging up more to satisfy our own vanity. Is that what I want to be doing?

Also there was a program on last night involving Egyptology. Without getting into details, it was another one of those programs that promised all sorts of great stuff and then didn't deliver. I used to think I wanted to do this so I could have documentaries made about me, or at least appear in them. But after this. . . .it was really kind of a waste of time. Is that what I want to be doing?

This all led up to my mental outburst this morning. In addition, I think perhaps this last trip was something of a last hurrah, a way to prove to myself that, yes, I could really do field archaeology in Egypt, and do it very well, no regrets and look back at a job well done. Admittedly, the last couple of big trips had problems that bothered me later. I think this may have been cathartic. "I've proven I can do it, now I can move on" in a way. I did this in undergrad school as well, took Comp Sci 365 (I think), and got a 4.0 just to prove to myself I could have done it (computer science).

Now, I wouldn't leave archy completely by any means. I plan on using any infectious disease research in the past as well. And I'd like to work it so I can go to Egypt or something for a short stint every year or two. But. . . .I dunno, I guess perhaps I'm really ready to shift priorities. Maybe. We'll see. Much to think about.

Otherwise, I bought a washer. Ha! Went to Sears and bought a Samsung and got a good deal. It was on sale from $899 to $799*, then I had a $100-off coupon, and then a City Light $100 rebate, and then they gave me a $50 gift card. Being delivered tomorrow. I was rather proud of myself. After that, I went to UVil for some errands and met F. for a while which was quite pleasant. Couldn't walk because of the rain so I cleaned my boots instead.

* Technically, the sale ended on Dec 1 but they kept the tag on it and gave me the sale price anyway.

Monday, December 3, 2012

3 December 2012

Well, back home again. It's cool and raining a lot and I'm largely back to normal, at least as far as jet lag and such goes, though I remain kind of tired. Also have slipped into something of a foul mood, the same sort of thing that I left. I have been trying to determine why that is. . . .perhaps because I'm right back where I was when I left, largely unemployed. . . .maybe I just hate Seattle with all its rampant silliness, such as letting the roads go to hell but making all sorts of bike-friendly crap. Etc. No end in sight to the lousy economy and no one in positions of power that will do anything to make it better. Etc. What a piss-poor time it is.

But enough of that. The trip home was largely uneventful, although the flight from NYC here was full and it took forever to get through customs and immigration and all the way to the American terminal. Sheesh. But the flight was on time and such and we landed about 9:55. I went to sleep about midnight that night and woke up at 5:45, which wasn't bad, considering. Sunday was kind of a blur. We went out for breakfast and I had bacon. BACON. And eggs and hash browns. Ahhhhhh. Lunch was similarly. . .well, it wasn't all that great, I just had half of a salad. I will say that after 2 months being in an Arab country and also surrounded by field people, the female fashions here -- despite the cold -- were rather eye-popping. In a good way, obviously.

Today (Monday) I started off with a good workout. I shall surely be sore tomorrow, but it was a pretty good one. Most of the usual crowd was there, but not anyone I ever conversed with. Also got contacted about doing fieldwork this week, and I might go out for one or two days. I was kind of not wanting to -- part of the junk I was describing above -- but now I can dig it. The washer also kind of went out, so we need to buy a new one. There's another few hundred clams. I may go out and do that tomorrow, else we will not be doing laundry for at least a week. May also meet F. tomorrow and give her the scarab.

Otherwise. . . .must get back to that mental state I had in Egypt.

1 December 2012 (Saturday)

Typing this high over the Atlantic, probably about 23 of the way to NYC. Just finished watching The Matrix, first time all the way through i years, I think. WHat a great movie. Too bad they made the other two and ruined it. Oh well, the ending is great. Actually, I could mostly watch the first half hour and then the last 20 minutes or so. But whatever, this isn't a movie review blog.

I slept okay last night, waking up around 4 I think. Had the AC running all night to provide white noise and air but it was cold, no way to just use the fan. Of course, my trip to Egypt would not be complete without a weird morning. Breakfast is from 7-10 so I waited around and then went down at about 7:15. Looked like they hadn't even cleaned up from the previous day and most of the food out was still there from that breakfast service. Harumph. I had to leave at 8 so I decided to go to the McD's a couple blocks away, which is also open at 7. But they were still closed and the lights were off and no one was there. So I got a mocha but they didn't really have anything substantial to eat. Back to hotel where they had some more food out, but it seemed like 3 leftover rolls from yesterday. Harumph. But there was cheese and stuff so I made two sandwiches and scarfed them down along with a yogurt and tea. By that time I had to kind of rush up to the room, brush my teeth and get my stuff -- yeah, Egyptians rushing ME around for a change. Got downstairs, checked out with LE 30 to my name, and thence we went to the airport. Funny, a man and his wife were gig there as well and I think at some point the lady thought the driver was going too fast because the husband said something and the driver immediately slowed way down. Ha. But we made it there in fine time.

When I got there some dope started helping me by getting me through the business class screening instead of regular -- which was way quicker, I admit -- and then he demanded backslash so I took all the change out of my pocket and gave him that. Probably not much, but, eh, whatever, worth it I guess. Had a decent time getting through everything, though a couple of hiccups here and there. And here I sit. Looks like about 6 hours to go. . .danger, I was reading it wrong and was thinking there was only 3. Grrr. oh well. So far I've finished Dune and watched the movie and now I'm doing this entry and am about to start an ArchaeoBLog post going through my slide presentation. . . .I wonder if I could just make a big PPoint of it and post that with writing on the slides, hmmmm. Probably not, too much text to explain. Oh well.

Glad to be going, although my little airport hiccups have started to bother me -- the usual crap, hope this isn't a portent of things to come. But no, minor screwups are not the end of the world, nor and important insight into my makeup. GOT THAT?

30 November 2012

Neglected to make an entry last night because we had a party for all of us leavers, with a BBQ starting at 6, so there wasn't a bunch of time later to take out and write something. Was trying to visit with everyone as much as possible before I left, so no problem from my point of view.

Yesterday I spent out with Rachel, Stephanie, and Nathalie (and Sebastien) to back fill their trench. It was a lot of goof carrying, which we really shouldn't have been doing, but it was a nice way to spend my last day. Lots of work, lots of visiting with the girls (and Sebastien), and altogether a nice time. I bought a bunch of sodas for everyone as my going-away present.

Most people were pretty blitzed last night, I think perhaps only Betheny and I were mostly sober. I had a beer (probably only 2/3 actually) and then a tiny little snort of tequila, so it really wasn't anything and I have suffered no ill effects as a result. Enjoyed talking with Rachel and Nathalie for quite a while, both quite. . . .lubed, in terms of alkyl. A bunch of them were even doing tequila shots: called it a Fayum Sunrise which is a spritz of salt and Tang on either wrist, whence you lick the salt, drink the shot, and then lick the Tang. I don't understand it either, I was never so elaborate in my drinking except for the odd spiked watermelon here and there.

Morning came early, 3 am wakeup (again, sadly) and we were on the road by about 4:30. I ended up having to cram myself in the back amongst the luggage as I was the smallest and didn't really mind all that much (I was able to fetch my iPad from my briefcase and plug in the headphones).

The hotel -- Hotel Beirut -- is okay, I guess, but they don't have free WiFi, which is odd seeing as it's rather pricey. Wish I'd been able to stay at the Pearl, this is a busy area. Breakfast was okay, although it was the first time I'd eaten hot milk on cereal. GAWD, I can't wait for a breakfast at BurgerMaster. Hopefully Sunday.

Will miss the people, but it was a good trip. I don't think I have any regrets about anything, I acted and worked well.

Plan for today: Bank, bazaar, lunch, bazaar, dinner, reading, bed. I may go to the Khan depending on what's around here, although I haven't really seen anything from my balcony.


Couldn't find any souk around here so I had to go to the Khan. Waited around for a driver -- not a taxi, which I should have gotten -- and went over there around 1:30. Stayed two hours and got a decent amount. Picked up two silver cartouches for Robin and Veronica, a couple of scarves for Lisa and Taya, and some pillows. Also a very nice scarab for Fiona; that took a while, and I got the guy down from an outrageous 375 to 90. It's a decent quality one, not the cheapie soapstone incised things. Said it came from St. Catherine's. Eh, I dunno. I have some concern it might be a real one, but probably not (it's got dirt on it).

And I just got back from Mass. I walked around after dinner (McD's hangerburger) and went into a church nearby thinking it was a Coptic one and that I'd have a look, but it was a 'Catholique' and there were people in the pews. So I sat down to pray a bit and then they started the rosary, so I kinda did that with them (substituting Latin for their, apparently, French) and then the Mass started. Pretty quick one, though I didn't understand a word of it (French), but I of course knew what was going on, mostly. Even had communion. SO, very nice. I guess perhaps things happen for a reason, me coming here instead of Maadi.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

27 November 2012

I.Am.Beat. Woke up at 3 am (or so) which didn't help, and then I was backfilling most of the day. Which wouldn't have been so bad except that I went and did a lot of shoveling, I guess largely because I wanted to get it done. I could tell I haven't worked out in a couple of months because A) Shoveling was hard and parts were getting sore, and B) I really had some difficulty wrestling the geotextile roll. Yeesh. I can't shovel much tomorrow because my wrist was hurting and that doesn't go away. So, supervising for me tomorrow. Well, I might carry goofas.

Still have a few photos to include in my report, which I might bug Jason about right after I type this in. Otherwise, I need to just run through that once again and fix some stuff up and then it's done and I can leave. Still don't know what day, as we're waiting to see what happens in Cairo tomorrow.

So, tired all day. But I got a lot of other little piddling things done, like my Unit forms and a plan drawing and elevations and junk. Not that they mean much, but they're now in the record books.

Dunno, can't say a whole lot about today, I've been in kind of a daze the whole time. I'm about the only one out at the site so there's not a whole lot going on. We'll probably not need the whole day though.

I quite like Stephanie the Australian, although we've never been 'close'. She came in as this quiet little thing and now she's just bursting all over. She's always had this very adorable smile and she looks like she's very comfortable here and having fun. It's a nice thing to watch, someone coming out of their shell like that. You can tell she's gotten more comfortable 'being an archaeologist'.




Monday, November 26, 2012

26 November 2012

Weird day. I woke up far too early (I think). I went out to the site first thing to check out the work on the Bath so I had to leave at 6. I could see my breath! Chilly. They had been rebuilding the south wall of the first room and it looked pretty good. Fascinating watching them make up the mortar and stuff.

We -- Jason, me, and Rachel -- drove ourselves back! Jason drove. We even stopped at a roadside stand for soders. Nice to be able to get around on our own for a change. I worked on my report some more and had to rework some things. I'd talked to Ashraf and found out the SCA stuff had been done in 2001 rather than the 1980s, And Sonali had more info on the ceramics which actually date to post-2nd century CE which is what was expected. Just have to get some more photos stuck in and it's ready to go. Probably won't get to go out with the Kiwis since I have backfilling tomorrow and then polishing up the report on Wednesday. Well, if I can't get out Thursday I'll have a couple of days to kill. Apparently big protests are planned for Friday so they're jumpy about leaving us in Cairo. I'm not at all worried staying in Maadi and all. But whatever.

I worked up a slide show on what I've been doing with the Bath and it went quite well, I thought. I started off with a few slides about What It Was Like In 1975 with some joke photos, although I had one of me from around that time (i.e., NOT A JOKE. . .but funny nonetheless); they enjoyed that.

I was coooold this evening up on the roof. Shivering. Had to come downstairs and warm up. Sheesh. Hopefully I can get some sun tomorrow to buck up my tan for my triumphant return to the northlands. I may need to wear an undershirt just to keep warm!

So, everything is winding down. Will miss the people here, definitely.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

25 November 2012 (Sunday)

Long. Day. 

I actually slept until probably 4:30, and then got up at 5 and really started working on my report before 6:30. And I worked on it most of the day until after 5 so it was a long slog. I like it though. Sufficiently detailed to give a good idea of the state of it now, but not so dreary and repetitious I don't think. Came up with a few good sentences here and there. Tomorrow I'll hopefully finish up most of it and I can start backfilling it all on Tuesday. Probably more work on Wednesday.

Otherwise, it was a pretty good day albeit quiet. Not a whole lot to say, I guess. I quite like a couple of the Kiwis, they're a lot of fun. Most of the guys are dorks, and a couple of the females are, well, dorks, too, but Rachel and Tash (Natasha) are a lot of fun. I guess that's one thing I'll not look forward to leaving: a bunch of the people. I interact and get "closer" to people here than I usually do at work back home, so it's a shame to be leaving them. Another reason I really need to work on keeping my attitude here going when I return so this isn't just a big situational thing. I've known that for a while though, that I tend to be a different sort of person while traveling. Not sure how to maintain that sort of thing once home. . . .I think one tends to slip into a comfortable role when in familiar surroundings and when one is out and about one has to depend largely on one's own abilities to survive around a lot of strangers. In a way, one can hide away at home because everything is familiar; out here there's no where to hide so you have to be "on" all the time. Its not really stressful, it's actually quite enjoyable, as long as I can retreat somewhat at the end of the day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

24 November 2012

Interesting day today. My alarm went off at 5 which I wish it hadn't as I'd been awake for a while in the middle of the night and could have used another half hour or so. Breakfast wasn't until 7 so I ate a Pop Tart. I think. Yes, after Kelvin got up I got a PT and ate it with my vitamins. Really, then the rest of the day was mostly spent writing the report. Made a number of breakthroughs, including determining which rooms had roofs, that the niche in the laconicum had probable smoke stains (therefore, lamp), and the relation of the arch in the door to the laconicum. I made it partway through the caldarium description which brings me about 3/4 of the way with the text. I also decided in the middle of the night to cut down the background stuff considerably, only mentioning the Bath for the most part and leaving the larger site out of it.

You know, I was awake for quite a while last night flipping out about something or other, but I can't now remember about what. See how pathetic that whole thing is?

At any rate, I also poked around the photographs and found quite a few I can use, although not as many as I'd like. I would like some more 'before' shots of all the sand, but I may only have one or two. J. might have some that haven't been copied over yet. Even found a couple of the 'replica' shots to compare with the old photos. I was also thinking that I might be able to use the 3D model to just zoom in to whatever angle I want for each of the old photos and just do something like a screen grab. Next big project: scanning in the old photos. Tomorrow.

Better news is that I finally got my flight confirmation email, so it looks like I am set to fly back next Saturday. . . one week! LESS than a week as I type this! I'm glad I have a bunch of interesting stuff to do in the meantime.

This was also the first day here that I wore my sweatshirt all day. Admittedly, the room I work in tends to be cooler than everywhere else, but it's still kind of a milestone. I'm actually wondering if I'll have enough clothes for the next week. . . .I might have to start wearing shoes and socks during the day inside!

I found a perfectly lovely photo of N. while searching for my Bath photos. She takes a lovely picture and it had a nice sunrise in the background. R.'s was nice but not quite as good of a shot of her.

Friday, November 23, 2012

23 November 2012 (Friday)

Thanksgiving Day!!!! Sort of. Our Thanksgiving anyway. Sadly, I ended up waking up around 3:30 and getting up at 4, just like my tentmate did. We were planning -- actually, I joined in on it late -- on going to see Kom W, a famous Neolithic site, but the Land Cruiser wouldn't start so we ended up not going. Instead we went to Karanis for a trench tour with the Kiwis early. I wasn't even going to go to that but I had to. It was okay though, they liked the Bath and I talked with some more of them. Tentmate was rather ill, though, and he had to go back.

Once I came back, I worked on my report some more and a few other things. Later in the afternoon we started getting all of the stuff ready for the dinner, including making hand turkeys: you trace your hand and make a turkey out of it. Mine sucked, but I was tired. Then we had to watch a stupid movie clip from Addams Family Values while B. lectured us all on how badly treated the Amerindians were. Happily, I swallowed wrong and had to leave coughing. After that we had to all say what we were thankful for. *gag* I just said I was thankful I followed through coming here after nine years and what a great bunch it had been.

I just got back from a walk because the dinner was so good I ate a lot. Seriously, probably the best Thanksgiving dinner I've had in years. The stuffing was very flavorful (albeit a bit too salty), the turkey was . . . well, it was okay, I guess, I mean it's turkey. . .the green beans were terribly spicy and tasty (YUM) and there was also some sort of mushroom sauce/gravy that was heavenly. Apple pie was, meh, but worthwhile.

AND it's only 6 so now I've got three hours to kill and try to stay awake. I'm glad I got a decent amount done on the report today, I really ought to finish up most of the text tomorrow (Saturday), leaving Sunday for probably. . .maybe backfilling, but maybe arranging the photos. Those might take a while because I have to scan in or lift the ones from the PDF file, find their equivalents, and then others as well, and also prepare a slide show for Monday. Planning on going out with the Kiwis probably T, W, R., wrapping things up with some hard work outside with new people.

Everybody (nearly) else is up on the roof watching movies, but I'm avoiding screen entertainment until I get back. And I'm tired.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

22 November 2012

Another day comes to an end. And not a bad one either, for the most part. Last night was perhaps the best night's sleep I've had here, which is odd given that I had one of the worst nightmares and middle-of-the-night anxiety(ish) attacks yet. I dreamed that all of my bank accounts were empty and that I was stuck somewhere. Scared the daylights out of me and I woke right up. I calmed myself down by vowing (and repeating numerous times) that I would from now on work hard, make money, save money, and devote myself to helping others. Whatever, it worked, and I didn't wake up again until the alarm went off at 5! And feeling quite good about myself to boot.

Then the trouble began. The Spousal Unit emailed and hadn't done my ticket so I had to set off to try to do it myself. I had Hammam put LE20 on my phone for more minutes and then tried that. . .and got through! And then got cut off. Again. Went to Vodaphone site to try to find someone to call to find out why, but all I cold get was email support (useless), finally checked my call list and found the old 3-digit code for support, but all I got was Arabic. Useless. Tried emailing Orbitz. Useless. Then I got inspiration and loaded up $10 on Skype to enable me to call non-Skype numbers and voila, I was connected and it worked. I am now set to leave on Dec. 1. Go. Me.

I spent the rest of the day working on my final report. It was slow going at first, trying to come up with a suitably structured introduction and background and stuff. I finally wrote some junk and then left it for later and started on the descriptive stuff and that went much better and I can barely think of what not to write. Am a bit worried I'll finish too quickly, but I have an awful lot of photos to wade through, plus getting the old report photos scanned and included which will take some time. Add to that Jason the photographer has been quite ill with an intestinal ailment and I'm not going to let the foot off the gas. Was seriously thinking about going to Kom W tomorrow, but probably won't, and will spend the time helping with dinner prep and writing instead. By Monday I'd like to be done with it all, give my presentation and then go out with the Kiwis for 2-3 days, if possible, before heading out.

Write this next bit up earlier this evening:

Reading some of Neil Peart's "Ghost Rider" just now a certain passage struck me:

The solitary traveler is frequently invested by others with an aura of romance, myth, and desire. So many people feel trapped in the workaday predictability of their lives, and their frustrations and dissatisfaction can be simultaneously stimulated and soothed by a non-specific fantasy of "getting away". But like all fantasies, this dream vision remained free of consequences, and that alone was the deep, cold distinction between fantasy and reality: No consequences.

One might substitute 'archaeologist' for 'traveler' there. Seeing them (us) on TV or reading about "the adventure of archaeology" certainly can make life in the field seem romantic and dashing with all sorts of interesting things happening literally every minute of the day. And we certainly use that on occasion to impress people, at least to a limited degree (I'm not above admitting that one reason I do this is to imbue myself with a little of that Indiana Jones swashbuckling demeanor, however misleading). But it misses all of the stuff that really goes on out here: the heat, the dust, the flies and mosquitoes, the often bad food that causes altogether too many varieties of gastrointestinal distress, and the monotony of digging through a bunch of uninteresting sediment, dumping it into a basket, and hauling it off to the screens for 8 hours a day. Not to mention the jet lag and being away from friends and family for weeks, maybe months, at a time. And, well, danger to life and limb, not from curses or terrorists or Nazis or whatever, but. . .well, okay, it's the roads mostly.

Nevertheless, it remains a very rewarding endeavor and I'm glad I kept my resolve and came out again. Just being in a strange place with only the stuff you carried with you and spending most of your time intent on a single project gives one a certain amount of perspective on that "workaday predictability" you left at home. You appreciate what you have there all the more, but you also tend to give it its due which is: it's just stuff, it's not life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21 November 2012

Weird night last night. I was sitting in the office reading, waiting for the new tentmate to arrive when, about 8:45 I started to wonder if they were arriving in Cairo yesterday but only coming to the site today. So I went to the tent and read until a little after 9:30, waiting and waiting. Finally decided to try to sleep with the light on and eventually went sound to sleep sometime after 10. A while later I woke up and he was already settled in, lights off, etc. I mumbled something, her mumbled something, and then I went back to sleep, woke up at 3:30ish and got up at 4:15 finally. Still hadn't seen him. Until he was at the site this afternoon. Seems decent enough.

The day at the site went well, although we left early (5:30) and I had to make my way across the site in the dark (with no problems). I spent almost all day examining every single wall and floor in detail, comparing each with any of the old photos, and recording anything else that seemed important. Found a few new things today as well, so this is getting something new as well, not just recovering the old stuff. I used a project camera to also shoot every wall that I was examining, partly for posterity and partly for my own use for the report. I also took a couple of nice overviews in good light with my iPod and they actually turned out rather nicely. I have to go through all of our regular site photos to put up a little lecture on Monday which I'm actually looking forward to. And a little more work to keep me off of survey for another day. Ha.

I finished that by about 12:30 or 1 and spent the rest of the afternoon helping schlepp stuff from the various trenches, some of it rather heavy and awkward and painful to carry. It was rather warm today, or maybe just humid, but cloudy most of the day. My guts have recovered due to the cipro -- I've had more appetite today than for the last few days, and I plan on taking one more round (4 altogether) in the morning and hopefully knock this out completely -- I think I might have gotten something a month ago and only taking 2 cipros didn't completely get rid of it. Others have been getting ill lately, too.

Mini pizzas for dinner tonight which was okay. Kelvin (tentmate) brought some treats for us in honor of his birthday, Stroopwaffles I think (yes) and they were delicious; kind of like, well, mini waffles with a syrup or caramel in the inside, but very thin. I would eat those again. Also some black licorice, but I didn't like it very much.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

20 November 2012 (Tuesday)

Slept well last night although didn't feel that great still, but I ate breakfast okay. I definitely think something is amiss within, as both breakfast and lunch didn't sit well and I didn't feel like eating much. I took a cipro after lunch and will again forgo dinner. Not overly sick feeling, but just a general feeling of. . . not feeling well. Will pop another cipro in the morning.

Fairly busy morning. Found out shortly after I got out that we were doing the photographs so we madly cleaned the place up with four workmen. It was a bit later than we should have been at it as the sun was well up by the time J. got out, but fortunately some clouds hung out for a while and we may have gotten decent shots. J. stayed and helped me with the elevations as well, and we got most of them done. It was nice having some people out there who were native English speakers for a change. And I broke into my stash of Pop Tarts lately delivered to me. YUM. Artificial sugrary goodness at its best!

After breakfast I went back out with one of the donors and we showed him the Bath. Then Hassan came over and we did the final elevations, but I may have to re-do them tomorrow. I think the back shot is wrong because it was exactly a meter below the first one, and they are not matching up with the 1975 ones at all. Later in the day I started examining and describing the walls and floors and mostly finished Room 1. I learned a lot about some of the walls that I hadn't noticed before so it was very valuable in that respect. Tomorrow I'll continue that and hopefully finish by the end of the day.

Tentmate gets in tonight although it's almost 7 and not here yet; I kind of expect him around 8. I have to leave early tomorrow so I hope they don't get in too late.

And the big news is that I'm leaving on Dec 1! Spousal Unit emailed and said it would be no problem to do so she will do it and I will get outta town on that day. It's only 10 days earlier, but after I finish this bath stuff I will definitely be ready to go; don't really want to go on survey with the Kiwis more than a day or two. I might actually have stayed if W. had given me Karanis stuff to do, but she didn't sooooo. . . . .can't wait. OTOH, I'm a bit worried that the attitudes I've built up while here will fade away once I get home, that they may be situation-specific and once I'm back in familiar environs I'll revert back. I will definitely try to keep this going. I have to.

Monday, November 19, 2012

19 November 2012

On the good news front, I can leave early! On the bad news front, I haven't made new flight reservations yet. But I just started trying so that will hopefully not be the case for long. Brought it up with Willeke this morning and she was okay with it as long as I finish all of the Bath stuff. Am hoping to fly out on Dec. 1 or thereabouts. I'd tried to call an international number for Orbitz, but my phone won't let me either because I'm out of minutes or I just can't make such a call (I got through at first but then it cut out and won't let me back in at all).

At the moment, my guts aren't feeling too well, although it may be psychosomatic: our broccoli had an egg batter which was, in some cases, undercooked and I ate some of it, so I'm kind of wondering if it will make me sick. It shouldn't, as these things usually happen with stuff that wasn't inside a shell, but you never know. Either way, I ate too much today anyway, so I don't plan on eating dinner, mainly for that reason. I really don't want to think myself into being sick either. And no meeting tonight so I'm kind of at a loss for things to do for the next couple of hours. Well, I could read I suppose but I don't want to fall asleep, even though I did, in fact, sleep rather well last night.

Today was kind of weird. I had three guys with me to do a final cleaning on the Bath and that actually took until about noon or maybe 11:30, and then I did some finishing work myself for a while, but that only took me until about 1. I didn't want to start elevations -- plus I didn't have anyone to assist anyway -- so I kind of wandered up to 4/14 and fiddled around helping them for a while, retrieved my forlorn basket of finds from last Thursday, and then. . . .sat around the Bath pretending to work for a while. I still need to find someone to help me with elevations tomorrow. Otherwise, I'll start examining all of the walls for differences from the 1975 photos.

This afternoon I set up a cot for Kelvin who will be arriving tomorrow to share my tent for a few days. We have a decent amount of room after I pulled the outsides of the tent out. Man, the back of my neck is totally bitten up. R. is smoking a lot more lately. I wouldn't have believed that of her. Even W. has been smoking. N. also came by looking for intestinal medicine, of which I had none. All these women also seem to sing a lot as well. That is not a male thing to do. They also talk a lot in the bathroom whereas we men barely say a word.

Well, the upshot is I really hope I can get away early. I was thinking last night that this is probably the best overall season I've had here, all things considered, but I'm still ready to go back. Hopefully, the Gaza-Israel thing won't put a damper on my plans.

Oh, we heard artillery today. I heard three big whomps and the survey team apparently was hearing it a lot all day. We think it was just weapons testing at the nearby military base.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

18 November 2012

Not a bad day. I woke up early (again) and my throat was kinda scratchy (again), but I slept through the night, mostly. We ended up clearing away a lot of sand from around the cistern and some that had collapsed over the weekend, and also some other stuff around. Oh wait, the major one was clearing out the street (BathStrasse). Later in the day it was just me and old Muhammed working on the courtyard area: we need to really clear that out well in preparation for photography. When it's decent light out, Jason will do all of that and it needs to be ready to go with a quick cleaning. I was actually looking forward to doing it myself, but he was pleasant enough and it helped with carrying the goofas.

After we got back I showered quickly to get hot water, but that's not the best news: Hammam brought back Diet Pepsi. . . .in CANS! Ah, fizzy greatness. I drank two, although I shouldn't have. But there you go. Been fairly uneventful otherwise. I'm hopefully asking Willeke tomorrow if I can leave a bit early, hope she doesn't object. Israel and Gaza are shooting so it might be difficult. Maybe. Or it might be easy with no tourists showing up to go home. We'll see.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

15 November 2012

[Apparently didn't post on the 15th]

Not a bad day, all around. I slept okay, at least until about 4:10, but I didn't wake up much during the night. I only had a little to do at the Bath today, just took some levels. Felt a little dumb when I thought I couldn't take levels but then everyone mentioned that I could do it without a back sight. I'd been thinking of the instrument height as the height of the instrument from the ground, but it's really (in this context) just the elevation of the instrument. So me and Stephanie did that and I gave her the tour of the place, and then I went to help in Trench 30 with the ladies the rest of the day. Which I liked, it was nice to talk to English-speakers for a change.

Way back was a bit of a mess though. Suffice it to say that people thought other people were doing things they weren't necessarily doing and a basket of objects got left at the museum. . .and our Tuk Tuk ride was sub-par, divided equally between me missing the right turnoff and the guy blasting the music too loud. He kept playing these romantic ballads probably thinking we'd get all snuggly or something. Still, I'm glad I did it.

Several peeps have gone off to Cairo so it's relatively quiet here, although a movie is about to start, I'll probably watch a bit of it before heading off to the tent. I read a lot this afternoon so I'm a little zoned out from that.

Have decided that I really like Dan. He's just an excellent, excellent guy. Works hard, is never mean or underhanded or anything, always friendly, just a great person to have around. And I respect him. I hope I can tell him basically that before he leaves.

17 November 2012

Well. I might be coming down with a cold. My throat was very sore this morning and I've felt kind of iffy all day. It may be a result of sweeping my tent yesterday and kicking up all the dust, but it feels like a cold. We'll see.

Otherwise, not a bad day. Slept okay. Woke up around 5 I think, maybe a little after. I did some minor work on the Bath report (the old one, not mine) and then went with Willeke to Karanis to figure out what to do with the Bath and then out to where the Kiwis are working. Desolate place, all flat and exposed. I suppose it's probably easier work, just walking around looking for stuff, than excavating. I think they really want me to go out with them, but I'm leaning towards trying to leave early, probably around the 30th or something. I'd rather get back to paying work than hang out and do this stuff.

As for the Bath, I learned a few things in the report. There are some measurements I can take to compare with their photos, as they provided some measurements of wall heights and such, and a couple of photos have a stadia rod in them, so you can tell the heights of things from that. Taking those again will let me see how much of the structure has gone since 1975. A tricky part will be determining what was done in 1975 and what was done whenever the Egyptians did their restoration work in the '80s.

This afternoon was loooong. I tried to do some work, but I was tired -- even laid my head back and took a little nap at my desk -- and couldn't really concentrate. If it's a cold, it's probably going to be a nasty one. I went up to the roof and read some around 3:30. Rinus's cat seems to be very ill and he thinks it won't make it. I can't tell if that would be a blessing or not, being far away. I know for the cat. . . .well, maybe they don't care when they get very sick.

In brighter news, we will soon be well-stocked with soda again. I cut my soda bill in half this last week due to my own Diet Pepsi.

Friday, November 16, 2012

16 November 2012 (Friday)

The Kiwis are here! The Kiwis are here! They arrived this afternoon just in time for lunch. Simon seems like a nice chap, even went to UW for a few months and has done stuff with Julie Stein on shell middens. Don't look much like rugged, outdoorsy surveyors though, if I must say. I think I shall probably be going out with them for at least a few days; their schedule doesn't seem as brutal as it was made out to be, although they might not get back until 4 which would mean missing lunch. So, I dunno. I'm still going to stretch out my report as long as possible.

I made it to 5 this morning, after have an anxiety -- or something -- episode at maybe 3, or even earlier. Also woke up to the prayer, but went back to sleep. Kind of a dull morning, I wrote more to my cars of Egypt post, and even added a bit more of a literary flair to it after reading some of Ghost Rider. I like the result. Hopefully it will run next week.

Oh, and THE BOX finally got here. Of course, half the stuff is too late to use, but there's gobs of protein bars, which I shall probably need out on survey. And the safety glasses which ought to allow me to wear my contacts for the remainder of the season.

In the afternoon, I walked across the road to the quarry and had a simply wonderful couple of hours checking out the geology. Utterly fascinating. Much of it I couldn't interpret in any specific way but still interesting. I finally found some fossil-bearing strata way in the back and that made the trip worthwhile. Its a fairly thin band and it was obviously from a near-shore environment because they're all jumbled up and broken up. I managed to find a few whole specimens and at least one unidentified one that I was later able to identify as a scaphopod, a long, thin cone-shaped mollusc. I enjoyed following the stratum around and seeing how the mix of species changed slightly. Brought a few back, all but two of which I tossed out. I have a big shell that I have yet to identify and a nice little whole clam I gave to Rachel. Hard to find specimen examples to compare this other one to though.

I also modified my tent to give it more room. I did this by scraping away the dirt that was pushed against the outside walls, squishing the bottom in. I think I gained about 3-4 feet in width, so when the other guys gets here we should have a reasonable amount of room.

I'm guessing I'm less than 3 weeks away from leaving the site. I leave on a Monday which would leave just one day of work after that previous weekend so I'm thinking I'd leave the Thursday before and hang out in Cairo for a couple of days being bored. Well, I'd go see some sights, like the Coptic area and maybe a mosque or two. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

14 November 2012

Well, what a nice end to the day, I got an email from one of my oldest friends, Lisa, giving me her new contact information. She left KC a few months ago but only now sent me her email, phone, etc. Somehow through job changes and all sorts of things we've managed to stay in contact and meet for lunch every now and again.

But hey, I slept okay last night so it was a good day regardless. Except for the big dog fight at like 3:15 right on the other side of the fence. Oye. LOUD. But I went back to sleep and awoke at about 4:40. Breakfast was meh, but at least I had four good slices of bread. At the Bath I only used the workmen for a couple of hours to clear some of the street. Odd stuff: seemed like the wind blown sand was only present in part of the west end and along a strip next to the Bath wall and then over to the east end as well. I think there is probably more there interlaced with collapsed and disintegrated wall from the other side of the street, but I decided not to remove that. I did make a decision to remove the brown stuff I initially thought was in situ; maybe, maybe not, but it's gone now. Come to think of it, I should have made it a separate unit.

After breakfast I put on my headphones and cleaned up the chaufferie and clean water tank. Actually quite a pleasant couple of hours, I was all alone, cranking Rush, and clearing sand out of it. I got a good portion of the chaufferie cleared, although there is a stuck pile of junk in the back that I could get to if I wanted to, but there are a couple of fallen bricks there and I'd just as soon leave them. The clean tank looks pretty good although that was hard on my back. I still had an hour and a half to go, so I went over to 30 to see if they needed anything done, and ended up mostly standing around chatting and doing little things. May have to spend more time there tomorrow, as I don't have a lot to do over at the Bath. I'll probably have a couple of guys help me re-clear the chaufferie stoker hole (I shoved all the sand from above down there) and maybe take out a piece near the wall that I left in. The latter will need some stuff placed over the drain channel for protection though.

Once back, lunch was something I'd never had before, some Italian think. Ate too much. Shower was lukewarm, I have to remember to either go right away or wait until 5 when the water tank refreshes with hot water. Haven't done much since. I could have worked on the Bath report, but I'm going to wait on that so I have more to do later.

Warmer today, I could have worn my wife-beater but, alas, I wore it yesterday when it was cold. Grrrr.

Posted on Facebook:-- Spend afternoon cleaning Roman bath listening to Rush: Check. Yet another item off the bucket list.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13 November 2012

Mixed day today. Woke up at 3-3:30 (blast it), but had a fairly good morning at the Bath. Workers were a little uppity though. But we found out a lot of things, and had a pleasant lunch at the beit Sobek. Then things turned ugly. Well, not right away. We did a bit more in the Bath proper and then turned our attention to the street: and it was not what we presumed. Instead of deep sand what we found was shallow sand and at least one area of what looked like in situ deposits. we avoided that and went out a bit but then hit a lot of large (dressed) stones, but none that appeared to be in any sort of use position, just all jumbled up. And more suspicious looking sediment. Then I got it in my head that we quit at 2 instead of 2:30, sent my workers away to do other stuff and only belatedly realized I had more time than I thought. I did some scrounging around in the street and eventually kind of figured out what to do tomorrow although there are areas of concern. Don't know what we'll do with ourselves if there's not much sand here though.

I was a bit irritated on the ride home because they didn't wait for us. I went off to make sure Alexandra was getting back okay, and we were delayed a bit, but when we were getting near the house we saw them driving off without us! Fortunately they saw us and came back, but WTF? Can't wait a few minutes to make sure your coworkers are okay? They called my phone but I had my gloves on and hands full so I couldn't answer. . . and they still left! You'd think that might cause some concern? But I am now doubly intent on being totally unselfish from here on out.

What else. . . .oh, Trench 4 found a whole slough of whole or nearly whole pots, and Dan had a brilliant turquoise-colored faience dish in 14, along with some bread. Yes, bread. He thinks it's modern, though how one can reconcile that with the other stuff I don't know. They're watching The Princess Bride this evening, but I've seen it so often and I had other things to do, such as emailing Alexandra a huge file that took about a half an hour. Sonali -- Indian -- has their big holiday today so we all lit candles with dinner. I ate too much, I think. Like it will affect my sleeping, ha! Other than that, I switched tables and went and dropped my nice big NEW jar pf peanut butter on the floor! Grrrr.

And I'm missing Rush tonight in concert in Seattle. Double Grrrrrr.

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 November 2012 (Monday)

Odd night last night. For the first time while here I had to get out of bed in the middle of the night and use the bathroom. Oye. I gallantly held off until I couldn't sleep anymore and then finally got up. I managed to go back to sleep and actually slept well, if waking up often, after that. Almost too well actually: my alarm didn't go off and I just managed to wake up at 5:08 AND check the time. Whew. So I just didn't shave and all was well, with the added benefit of being well-rested for a change.

Good day at the bath though: we cleared out a lot of sand in the NE corner and went all the way down to the bottom of the boiler room which was cool. What I thought was a door was much too small and was probably just a stoker opening for the fires. It had several passages leading off of it but these were just air vents for the hypocaust (underfloor) heating and the hot air vents. Thus, my hopes of engaging in a bit of Indiana Jonesish exploring of secret chambers were dashed. But it was still interesting. We even got a 'Wow' out of Willeke when she stopped by.

My computer is acting up a bit. If it's plugged in and I only touch it with one hand I get a mild current. Not that it hurts, really, but more of a light stinging. I hope nothing is amiss with it or else I'm stuck with my iPad for the duration.

Had a decent time with the workmen, too. Mohammed the inspector/student was there so he was able to translate some. And I found that my box from the Spousal Unit arrived at ARCE so I will be getting that probably on Friday. Yay! OTOH, it had a $25 customs fee slapped on, grrrr. Malesh.

Tomorrow the conservation lady stops by so I hope we get some good ideas about what we can do with the bath. Well, mainly I hope she agrees with me, but whatever.

Warmer today than yesterday but mostly quite pleasant. Wind wasn't too bad either.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

10 November 2012

[BTW, this one is out of order because it didn't post yesterday and I just noticed it was still in Draft mode]

Woke up far too early again this morning and was tired most of the day. I got up around. . . .4:30? Something like that. It was quite chilly last night and this morning. I took a shower first thing and was looking forward to a pleasant morning alone with the Internet and a cup of tea. . . .but Marcus (new guy) was in the office and my Internet didn't work. I had been afraid of that. Apparently after one month it didn't automatically renew so I spent a long time trying to connect and maybe renew it online but it was slow and whenever I got to a Recharge Online screen it was "Under construction". I got Hammam to put LE50 with his phone onto my account, but it still wouldn't work and I still couldn't activate online so I spent most of the day without. Then I realized I should call Vodaphone, and that took care of it within about 5 minutes. And I'm back! Mostly it was the email I was missing, not the web surfing.

At the moment I'm feeling kind of bad and out of place here, not sure why, although I know it has something to do with the big masses of people coming at the end of the week, but there's more to it than that. Perhaps I'm realizing that I probably won't come back here, so it's kind of losing some sheen? Maybe. I think if I do come back I'd hook up with the Giza people. Or perhaps I've just been here too long as it is.

I didn't have a whole lot to do today without the Internet, and even with it. The paperwork won't really begin until we get everything cleared out and photographed properly. But I went through more of the French report, looked at the plans some more, and decided on what all needs to be done from here on out. And checked the photos for ones we don't really need to re-photograph. Oh, I did perhaps find the origin of the big rock we found last week: there's a lintel in the last photograph.

So, kind of muftig today, although mostly this evening I guess. I figure about the only way out of this is to ensure that this evening and especially tomorrow I do as much as I can for other people here.