Monday, July 30, 2012

30 July 2012

One update on what happened in 1948: I've arranged to send the diary to the Museum of History and Industry where they will decide whether to put it in their permanent collection. Not sure if they will or not. . .it's a fairly innocuous person writing an innocuous diary. Of course, that IMO is exactly what museums should store rather than yet more "famous" people stuff.

I, meanwhile, am still operating on midwest time as I awoke at 3:15 again this morning. I did go out to the other room, but managed to fall back to sleep, thank God. First workout in two weeks as well and it went okay, I didn't seem to lose much in the interim. Tried the new shirt I'd bought in Wisconsin, a nylon sleeveless t-shirt. Worked pretty well, fairly comfortable, although I remembered why I'd quite with t-shirts in the first place: the collar gets very warm. But, it garnered a few looks (female) so it probably fits in with today's fashions better. *sigh*

The rest of the morning I got caught up on things, mostly emails and such. We went to Mickey D's for lunch and I went to the UVil to cash the check from my old bank account back home, snagged some mothballs from Bartell's, and got some burger for. . .Hamburger Helper! Meh, kinda iffy stuff this time. And I got a bag of river rock from City Peoples. The mothballs and river rock are for the rat problem: I decided to try encouraging them to leave on their own with the mothballs which I liberally shoved into the holes under the concrete. I plugged all but one (visible) entry with sand and the rocks, and am hoping they will exit overnight tonight out the hole I left open. Tomorrow afternoon I'll plug that one up as well and hope none are still there, as I'd not like to kill them through starvation/dehydration. I may toss a gas grenade in there anyway just to be humane, just in case. They're not really harming anything as of yet, so I feel bad about just killing them, but we can't have them there breeding away.

Got an email from Willeke and they are planning on going to Egypt, so it looks like I'll be there from sometime in October to late November. Have mixed feelings about it, but in the end I think it's a good move as I can potentially get some research done, at least in a minor way, and perhaps hook up with some public health people there.

And, of course, I will be gone for a good portion of the runup to the election!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight we just walked south and then back. I'm wearing my new Wisconsin PJ bottoms just because I was tired of wearing my jeans.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

29 July 2012 (Sunday)

First full day back from Wisconsin vacation started on a mixed note: on the positive, I slept in the bed all night long; conversely, I only slept until 3:30. For the last two years I've gotten up in the middle of the night and gone to sleep in the other room on the couch. No significant reason, I just found that if I did that I usually went right back to sleep. Also, if I do wake up after that I don't have to worry about waking the Spouse with rolling around. But then around 8:30 I decided to try my hand at a short nap. . . .and slept until 9:45 which is unheard of for me: my "naps" last 15 minutes if I'm lucky. Felt much better though.

I puttered around most of the morning although I did get all of my vacation entries posted. We went to an estate sale in Windermere at a very nice house, and the Spouse bought a few small items. I mostly wandered around and chatted with the sellers. After that we did our usual UVil shopping and lunch. I washed my car on our return, it was filthy after sitting out for almost two weeks, and then we went up to Northgate Best Buy for a new phone system and to look for some sort of rat poison which we found at Ace instead. It's a gas flare type thingie that you light, stick in the hole, and it emits a gas that's supposed to kill them. I feel a bit bad about snuffing them out like that, but we just can't have them under there reproducing. I shall probably say a short prayer on their behalf anyway. But I have to buy some river rock to block up the holes, and I may leave one open in case any of them attempt to escape -- as long as they're gone and don't come back I frankly don't care if they get away.

Still a good bit muftig about being back. I keep hoping that one day I'll just finally come to grips with life and get on with things without all the worry and anxiety. Will it take some new and fulfilling (not to mention lucrative) job? Moving away from here? I just don't know. I'd like to think that one day I'll just wake up and a switch in my head will flip and I'll just be okay. That's not unprecedented, I've gone through that a few times in my life where I've switched directions on a dime. A few times in the last few years I've thought that's happened but, despite some changes in attitude that persist, I've ended up sliding back to one degree or other. Perhaps everything is building up to one great shining epiphany and it will be the start of my new, post-mid-life crisis life. One can hope.

26 July 2012 (Thursday)

(out of order post)

Missed a day, today is Thursday the 26th. Wednesday was a work day: we cleared out some plants back by the rose bush to expose the roses and then moved the white rock from Barb's tree over to by the roses. We also moved the bricks from around the tree to border the roses area. Also did some other stuff around the yard. We continued that a bit today with some stuff in the garage. Took a bunch of chairs and some other assorted items to the Goodwill. We had another lunch at Rocky's, and in the afternoon went to various places including the post office, Fleet Farm, and the library. We ended up getting my hair cut downtown -- shaved is more like it -- where I had a nice time talking about the changes from around town. Nice chat.

In the evening Wednesday we walked up to Gille's again, and I got a photo of several of the car hops, and chatted with them while the Spouse used the facility. I enjoyed that, and I think they did, too, having someone interested in what they do and what they do outside of the job (two are starting college, one at UW and one at Marian). Warm and humid, but not bad. Slept very well, assisted by Miss Ambien and a good old' thunderstorm in the middle of the night.

Today we cleaned up some of the garage in the morning and then headed to Madison. State St is not quite as nice as it used to be. The Lands End outlet is gone as are several other places, although several -- Sacred Feather, Husnus, B-Side -- are still there. More national places now. We had a decent burger at Five Guys, walked up to campus a ways, then bought a couple of items and started home, in a roundabout way. Take and bake pizza for dinner, and then a small car show at the Festival shopping center out on Johnson.

I bought a pair of light Badger PJ bottoms and an Animal House "COLLEGE" sweatshirt. Heh. Overall it was pretty therapeutic although so many new buildings and such on campus that the memories are a bit less clear than they used to be. But I felt better for having gone so I'm glad that we did: I almost didn't because of the above changes I expected.

24 July 2012 (Tuesday)

(out of order post)

Today is Tuesday. Decent nights sleep, and a pleasant morning. We drove to Milwaukee at 9:15 for a doc appt at the VA which is right next to Miller Park. While mom was at the VA we went on a tour of the ball park and thoroughly enjoyed it. We saw a luxury box and the visitors' locker room and got to stand around the visitors' dugout. I loved that. Then we walked along the foil area and warning track out to the bull pen. Very nice.

Then we got mom and drove up to a restaurant to meet Frs. Tony and Roger. Neat restaurant, kind of a 1960s feel to it. Both of them were in good shape and spirits and we spent a couple of hours there. Then we went to a Barnes and Noble to find my college football magazine -- The Sporting News' -- but it wasn't there either, so I bought another one. Drive home. Was uneventful and we had leftovers for dinner.

The Spouse and I went to A&W and then walked around Lakeside where the pigs were hyperactively playing, very cute. We hit the Piggly Wiggly to get soda and bags but the soda wasn't on sale without a card so we just got a couple of bags. A roundabout drive home after that, seeing a slough of McMansions over by the UW. 


23 July 2012 (Monday)

(out of order post)

Should NOT have had that beer yesterday because I didn't sleep well; woke up at 12:30 and had to taken half an Ambien and felt lousy anyway. Did manage to sleep past 5 though. I've taken to having my first Diet Pepsi out on the porch which is quite pleasant. Was waiting until 8 am to see what happened to Penn State and it was as bad as I expected: 4 year bowl ban, $60 million, cut in scholarships and 12 years of wins vacated. Wow. They deserved it though.

Went to 101 (temperature) today, and we spent much of the morning talking to Rosie next door who looooooves to talk. I went to the bank and closed out my account, which had $900 in it. I was a bit hesitant to do so as I've had that account since it was First Wisconsin when I opened it, but there's no point in keeping yet another bank account open. So I got a couple hundred in cash and the rest in a cashiers check. Lunch at Culver's (salad).

In the afternoon we went to Galloway house and I enjoyed that. Spent some time chatting with the various docents and the gift shop ladies. Then the Christmas store....I liked listening to the music boxes. Then home for chicken for dinner. We walked to Gilles for dessert and had a delightful car hop this time, they're usually quite nice but she was very pleasant and friendly. Walked back and heard a bit of the concert at Buttermilk Park. Now sitting with baseball on,about to to yet another crossword puzzle.


22 July 2012

(Out of order post)

Ah slept well last night. Made today much better. Kind of a boring day. We went to Hardee's for breakfast, and then went to Oshkosh outlets but bought nothing....I dunno, not a whole lot for me to look at, and the Spouse couldn't find anything that fit. We did find some stuff at Kohl's here, including some workout shirts for me: not tank tops for a change, but t-shirts with the sleeves cut off. Tanks are out of fashion now. There was one Alabama shirt but too small.

I actually drank a beer this afternoon, possibly big mistake, but wanted to do it at least once, and took a photo for Facebook. We had brats for dinner and then drove to Gille's and then to Menards and Target and Wal Mart to find some things, only partly successfully, including a garbage can for Mom. Lots of walking, which was good for the beer and custard.......


21 July 2012 (Saturday)

(out of order post)

Slept badly last night, took long time (and an assist from Miss Ambien) to get to sleep and then woke up at 4:15. I spent the first waking hour on the cool porch watching the early morning Sherman St., including a skinny black and white cat cross the street with a mouse in its mouth. Then I read a Smithsonian magazine with an article on the San Juan Island Pig War. Then I took know naps, but still didn't feel much better. We went to the library book sale in the morning and then Rocky Roccoco for lunch.

The afternoon went slowly, with only a trip to the Goodwill, Pick 'n Save, and the inevitable Gille's Afro a turtle sundae: yum. We went to Mass at 4 and the church was packed, mostly with old people. Still, Fr. Sippel did the Mass! Haven't seen him in probably 30 years. Probably 90 years old and hasn't changed his behavior a bit. Still a good strong voice, same mannerisms, similar sort of homily. Definitely a sort of man to emulate in overall attitude if not explicit behaviorally (he could get really upset with people). (including me once) At any rate, I'm very glad to have had a Mass with him one more time.

We had mostly leftovers for dinner, which was still quite good and then we went walking at Lakeside Park. They have the usual deer, and the petting zoo had their animals out: alpacas, sheep, goats, and pigs. The goats were even amenable to petting and licking ones hand. Apparently they tore down the old Vulcan factory south of the Park offices....looks nice, but I suppose that means yet another business going out. We also saw some of the river snails which I remember as a kid; they utterly fascinated me and I brought some home in a bucket once. They no doubt died shortly thereafter, sad to say. Many people playing softball, more memories. Very memory-intensive day.


20 July 2012 (Friday)

(out of order post)

Coming back a day later (Friday). Drove to Chicago yesterday to pick up Spouse, long drive, traffic not too bad. Went to Shedd Aquarium which was okay, not lterribly exciting for me. They had a Pacific Northwest exhibit which was a bit weird. The drive home was mostly not pleasant as I was tired and not liking all the sitting. We stopped and got KFC for dinner (supper) which was delicious. It was actually cool and rainy up in Wisconsin.

I did, however, sleep very well last night. Today was pleasant. Made pancakes which turned out okay, not my best, couldn't find the nice skillet we bought a couple of years ago. We walked down to the fair! It was. . . .interesting. Nicer than I remember but, as one might expect, much smaller as well. Saw quite a few livestock, and spoke with several of the people showing them. I had some BBQ nachos and a so-so maple BACON sundae. My first! While there my old high school friend Deb called to say she wasn't coming to FdL today, which was nice of her. I enjoyed chatting with her a bit, I'm not sure we ever exchanged words in school even, but we've become e-friends the last couple of years. After going back home we walked downtown, but all of the good stores were closed, as in for good. Lots of places were empty. We went to Friar Tucks for fish, which I didn't care for all that much.

The Spouse and I went for a long walk to around Division to check out the nice big houses. Really want to buy one some day and enjoy living in a nice big house. Mom is watching the Brewers on TV at the moment and I will start a crossword on her iPad after this. A pleasant end to the day.

Weather sunny and upper 70s and felt warm.

17 July 2012 (Tuesday)

First out of order post, transcribed from entry written on that day:

Sitting on (late) train, 6:15 am. Man in captain's uniform across from me with a bicycle festooned with garlands and shiny stuff. Looks like a Marco Gras bike float.

Went through the kabuki theater known as 'security' and am sitting at the gate having just finished a SBux scone. Really wanted a Mickey D's sandwich, but nothing even similar to be found. Had very little b-fast at home cuz I didn't have anything in the house. Plan is to eat lunch at Denver and also snag something for when I get to Milwaukee. *yawn*
-------------------------------------------------------------
Now sitting in Denver airport after a rather delicious lunch of a Schlotzskies sandwich. Was only going to eat half but almost ate it all. Good flight from Seattle albeit a bit bumpy at times. I think I fell asleep for almost a half hour at the start, which was good. Hope the MiL is at the house by now so the bears don't think we abandoned them.

Sunny and hot here, we should use the whole runway on takeoff. Not a bad airport, although I didn't care too much for the food choices. Still need to get something for pseudo-dinner when I get to Milwaukee. Cold sandwich or something. Our plane had an ocelot on the tail named Lance.
-------------------------------------------------------------

And now sitting on the ground in Madison....yes, Madison refueling while we wait for thunderstorms to pass MKE. Probably another 1.5-2 hrs before we get to MKE. There is however an exceptionally attractive female in the aisle....really, model or actress caliber. Thought about getting off here, but I have no idea if I could get to FdL with a rental car. Tim isn't answering his phone if I even have the right numbers for him.

So, an otherwise pleasant and uneventful trip comes crashing down.
-------------------------------------------------------------

And here I am at Hank and Nancy's. We got into MKE okay, but then Hertz had to run a credit check because my card was a debit and it wouldn't go through. Stuck. Thankfully, H&N were still awake and I took a taxi over.

Not an auspicious way to begin a vacation.

Kinda warm here, but I will read for at least an hour or so before trying to sleep, since I'm all wound up and in a foul mood. And it's still 7:30 my time, soooooo........


Saturday, July 28, 2012

28 July 2012 (Saturday)

Back home in Seattle after ten days in Wisconsin and already feeling the effects. I really didn't think I'd become 'distressed' so quickly or so easily upon returning, but I feel fairly sad this evening. Not the homesick sort of sad but the "back to this stupid big city and all its attendant worries" sad. Perhaps it's just the vacation hangover combined with extreme tiredness since we were up at basically 2 am Pacific time. But perhaps I am realizing that I really don't like it here.

But to back up, I have several partial entries for the past ten days that I wrote in emails to myself on the iPad while in Wisconsin and will post those under their appropriately titled days later. Otherwise, this is what I wrote earlier in the day:
Typing this Saturday morning (28th) on the Mil-Denver flight as I'd forgotten to write last night. Matter of fact, before going to sleep last night I went over in my head what. We'd done that day so I wouldn't forget. Let's see how that worked out.....

Sadly, I woke up at 4:15 because the dope across the street fired up his exhaust-challenged car and puttered away, and then some critters made the most godawful noise outside. Still can't decide if it was a bird or mammal or what. So that day got off to. A bad start although it did afford me the pleasure of spending my last full morning sitting on the porch watching the day begin. With the usual array of neighborhood cats out cattin' around.

Oh god, not another two hours of this awful Lincoln MKS infomercial. 20 minutes of yuppies pretending they're performance car experts. I suppose I'll survive. Barely.

Anyway. We went out for breakfast and then checked in online at the library. I discovered that a neighbor had left their linksys wireless modem unsecured so I've been able to connect for. The last couple of days, but it was spotty and slow (and potentially unsecure I suppose) so the library was the place to go. After that we headed up to Chilton to see aunt Marian. Both of us were not really looking forward to that, principally because we hardly know her and she is very old and frail. And hard of hearing. She's actually several years younger than mom but in far worse shape. Mind is still sharp and often funny though, so we enjoyed it more than we expected. Her answering machine wasn't working so we bought her a new one and installed it. And we drove over to New Holstein to a Piggly Wiggly for a chicken dinner lunch which she enjoys  as well. She was appreciative and in the end in felt good about having gone....fit in with newish my "serve others first" philosophy.

We stopped at A&W on the way home, and then we took our accumulated change down to the humane society. So many cats. Nearly all of them were eager and meowing for attention and although I was happy to give them all that I could it made me sad to see them all homeless like that. Hopefully I made their day at least a little happier with some scratching. We did most of our packing when we got home.

Fish fry we tried the old Knight of Columbus hall, where I worked my first actual job way back when. This is a far more typical old-timey Wisconsin fish fry which the Spouse had talked about before (going to a "hall"). It was a little different than when I was there, but not too much so. My fish was pretty meh, and I should have gotten the haddock, but it was a nice experience. We had mom drop us off at Gille's for one last custard and  walked home from there. For the first time since we've been here it was actually a bit cool and not humid so it was really quite pleasant and the Spouse wasn't whining about the heat.

At home we did a couple more crosswords and flipped between baseball and Olympics opening ceremony. I hate how gawdy they've become. Play a little music and let the athletes in, light the torch and be done with it says I.

This morning: awoke at 4 to get ready, no problems there. Happily the McD's opened at 5 so we'd went there for a bit of breakfast and then headed to Hank & Nancy's. They were driving us to the airport since mom was dead set against doing so: construction! Complicated! Danger! And mom said they wanted to do this for us. Hank drove us along the lake front and that was rather excruciatingly pleasant despite Hank's driving style. Often it seems he regards lanes as mere suggestions. But we got there in plenty of time and visited some on the way. No problems at the check-in either. While at the gate an impossibly tall and leggy faux-blonde sat directly across from me in high heels and short-shorts; total eye candy but she appeared to be such a yuppie that I didn't give her the satisfaction of gawking. She did seem fairly pleasant though so I may have been stereotyping a bit too much (and her children weren't ill-behaved so make of that what you will).
The flight from Denver was fairly pleasant and uneventful. We were not seated together again, but no big deal. I read a while, listened to two Rush albums for a while, and that only left less than an hour of flight time. The trip home took over two hours principally because once we got downtown we barely missed the 71 bus and had to wait a half hour for the next one. The cats were both glad to see us, but the several RATS in the back weren't. Something must be done about them; I may start by removing all food material from the back yard, including bird seed and crow-posting stuff. We just went to McD's for dinner ("supper" where I'm from) and then walked to Safeway for breakfast fixin's.

Have an email from HRA seeing if I can do some survey next week and the week after. Nice to be wanted but that kind of set me off on the bumming-outedness. I dunno. I was looking forward to some days at the gym, but this will be another week (starting Wednesday) with no working out. While away I may have flipped over to the side of going back in some manner to public/global health and a more or less desk job. There's danger in that, as I don't want to program much anymore and I don't want to get into a regular routine rut which is what, I believe, drove much of my anxiety/whatever the last several years. I noticed my mom is deathly afraid of anything different or out of the ordinary (see airport above) and that seems very similar to what was ailing me. We shall see what transpires over the coming weeks.

Weather was cloudy when we got in but sunny now. Pleasant. MOCKING ME.

Monday, July 16, 2012

16 July 2012

This may or may not be my last entry for a couple of weeks. Am heading off to my ancestral homeland of Wisconsin tomorrow morning sans computer; I will only have my iPad. So, depending on the amount of time I have and my willingness to use n iPad for this, I don't know how much diaryaing I shall do.

Today started out pretty okay: I slept until almost the alarm! I guzzled some tea upon arising and that made for a really epic workout, another full-body one. What a way to start the day, freshly worked out and feeling good and pumped up. I came home and scarfed down my bagels and then headed off to Cascadia to do a couple of things. That took until 11:45 when I went to Mickey D's for a salad which I ate at home before heading to the dentist. Mary was rather cool(er) today, didn't even give me a hug. Still, I had a new hygienist who was pretty good. It being after lunch I was almost falling asleep which made it all the more. . .pleasant? Whatever, it went well. Once I got home (ca. 2) I did some more Cascadia work until about 4 and then resumed preparations for the trip, mostly doing yet more laundry and getting my things together. Had another TV dinner and then walked up to 85th to use the ATM and back. Pleasant walk, though warmer than I had anticipated (wish I'd had shorts on).

I also finally got rid of my old wallet. It was my second Eagle Creek cordura nylon bifold with a velcro catch on it. Love.That.Thing. I'd spent years trying to find the same one or similar and finally snagged two at a thrift store. I'd avoided using one of my newfound treasures, but I finally decided it was time to let it go. The new one isn't identical -- the ID section is actually too small for any of my IDs -- but close enough. . . and the velcro works! SO, I bid adieu to the old friend and start a new one. I figure between the two of these they should last me the rest of my natural life. Kind of a depressing thought, but there it is.

Ciao fer niao.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

15 July 2012

Sunday and I managed to sleep until 5:15, go me. The cumulative effect of that was that. . . .I was more able to clean the house and do still more laundry. But at least it's all done. Now to just keep it tidy for another day. . . . .

That was most of the morning. Neglected Mass but I read it online so I feel a little better. Before lunch I went to an estate sale and got a book on Washington history (for writing reports and such) and a Sesame Street street-type sign for the Spousal Unit (she likes that stuff). I had lunch at Mickey D's real quick and then headed to another estate sale over in Ballard. It had a distillery in the basement but that was gone by the time I got there, as was the Kenwood receiver I was vaguely interested in. The latter I'm more or less glad it was gone as I was not unduly tempted. What I don't need is another receiver (but. . . but. . .160 watts!). After that I dashed off to Sam's Club and Pet Smart -- where I didn't have a bag and spent my first nickel on one, so $@^$%(@&@*^%$@ you City Council -- and managed to make it to NGate just in time to meet Fiona. We SBuxed for a bit and then walked down to Target and Best Buy; I bought a cheap watering can for the MiL to use. Then I hit the Safeway for some gift cards for MiL and two TV dinners since I want to not mess anything up for the next two dinners. After dinner I mowed the yard, and had a super sugar meltdown and scarfed down several GS cookies and whipped cream. Ugh. I may pay for that tonight, but I was shaking.

Cool and cloudy all day. I think this is the first time I've mowed the yard in July.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

14 July 2012 (Saturday)

Well, last night sucked. Couldn't get to sleep for the longest time and ended up. . .back out on the couch! Then I woke up at 4:15 and couldn't even go back to sleep an hour later. Blech. So a decidedly inauspicious start to the weekend with the Spousal Unit away. Almost went out for breakfast when I discovered the pantry was mostly bare, but I scraped together two eggs and toast. Of course, I had to go to Top Pot and get a donut later on. . . .

I began the cleaning in earnest today and have spent most of it doing that and laundry. I think I'm on my third load and one more to go after that. The purpose is to get as much done today as possible so I can sort of relax tomorrow (Sunday). So I've cleaned the downstairs, the TV room, the bedroom, my room (mostly), the kitchen, and the upstairs floors. The bedroom I've decided to clean, change the bedding, and then leave as-is sleeping the next three nights in the TV room (I'll end up there anyway so why bother with two sets of bedding?). The plan is to get everything nice and clean ASAP and then tread lightly so it stays that way until Tuesday. I might even eat out and get a couple of TV dinners to avoid dirty dishes and kitchen.

Otherwise, I went to the IMA to work out at 11 and it was an epic one. Energy galore (despite the lack of sleep, although I did manage a short nap around 9:15) and it just felt great the whole way. Could have gone another half hour, but I needed to hit the bank before 1. I did that and then ate outside at UVil, which was pleasant. I bought an optical audio cable for the TV room TV, but I may take it back as it's not doing what I thought it would, that is, allow me to change the volume of the receiver from the TV remote. So, perhaps a waste of money. But, eh, whatever. More cleaning and laundry this afternoon and then I made a lame-o dinner of stir-fried carrot, broccoli, and Tater Tots, the latter of which were not quite heated enough. Eh, it sufficed. Did a walk and now am waiting for the kitchen and bathroom floors to dry after Swiffering, and the mattress pad is in the wash.And the Spousal Unit should be calling soon. . . . .

Friday, July 13, 2012

13 July 2012

Finally THIS WEEK IS OVER. And it ended rather well actually. Didn't sleep all that well, but we got the Spousal Unit to the airport on time (6:30) and, despite some delays on 405 (accident) I actually got to the work site in plenty of time. I was field supervisor for most of the day and that went well. I'm finding that when I'm at least nominally "in charge", whether alone or field supervising, I enjoy the work much more. Just wandering around digging holes where I'm told is so dreary and frustrating. It occurred to me today that that might be the underlying reason I was so unhappy doing public health: I was only a data programmer and was just doing things that others told me to do. In truth, I probably had more control than I thought, but it didn't really impact me then, and maybe programming just plain made me feel like I wasn't doing anything terribly important or anything that I could control. Hmmmm. Something to ponder certainly.

I. Must. Have. Power.

Errr, anyway. The work went rather well, we did quite a few probes today, albeit in the same area so more $(*^%@$(&*@^- brush to plow through. I used the GPS quite a bit and that helped. I thought we'd get more done, but we got done what was expected. On the way home there was some congestion on 90 approaching the tunnels, but not bad. I got home by 4:30 after dropping stuff off at the office. All I had for dinner was leftover rice and cole slaw and, of course, PIE. After doing the dishes I went for a quick walk, and now part of the tons of laundry is in, at the moment my filthy work jeans. That's another thing I dislike about fieldwork, always being dirty and having to mess with all sorts of knick knacks like lunch bags, back pack, tools, etc.

Jack is meowing for attention. Myra the next door cat walked by me this morning and she didn't look too good. She's 19 and probably winding down. Seems to spend a lot of time at the neighbor's on the other side. I feel sad for her but she's had an excellent and long life, especially for a small cat in a big city. I just hope her passing, which I fear is in the not too distant future, is without much suffering.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

12 July 2012

Man, frustrating day today. I suppose it wasn't exactly a bad day but frustrating. Started out okay, we met at the office at 6 to head to the field. It was warm today, but not that bad. Sometime in late morning, though, I got really annoyed at having to carry all that junk around through the heavy woods just to dig useless shovel probes. And I mean useless, there's not much point in digging them there, and certainly not screening them through 1/8" mesh. I felt better after lunch, but got annoyed again on the drive home when traffic was bad. I hate this place (Seattle I mean); too many people and too many cars and cruddy streets and roads.

On top of that, I lost a trowel. And almost lost my stupid tape measure AGAIN, this after putting it in my bag and making sure it shut. Jeez. So, kind of wanting to go back to a nice clean cubicle tonight. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. I know, I KNOW I shouldn't whine, I mean it's a job, right? The guy working with us today is probably pushing 65 and having to do this for work.

Just feeling frustrated tonight. . . . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

11 July 2012

Egads, did I luck out this morning. The power had gone out yesterday for probably an hour, meaning all the electric clocks were messed up including my alarm clock. . . .which I forgot to reset before going to bed. Happily, I woke up on my own right when I should have, very well rested for a change. I still had to go back up to Port Susan, but not until later so I was able to work out (very good one, too). We still made various phone calls and such to figure out what to do with the fence thingie, but we got it all straightened out. We think it was cribbing for when they built the dike. Technically, since it was part of the dike which was being partially dismantled it wasn't significant so they were able to tear it out. I kept one piece for them and brought one piece (both post bottoms) back for Randall to look at. Made it out by 1:30 so at least I had part of the afternoon free to relax and get a few things done. Mainly watering and bringing stuff in.

The weather was sunny all day in Seattle but cloudy in the morning up there which was nice and made for better photos.

Otherwise, we walked at UVil because we needed some stuff there, and they are having their Wednesday concerts so it was noisy and crowded, but that was okay.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10 July 2012 (Tuesday)

Christalmighty what a busy day. Woke up at 4:30 to leave for Port Susan Bay at 5:30, all okay, even left a bit early so I got gas and a mocha when I got up there. Got to the site and got ferried out to the work area in a little Gator and. . . . .waited. And waited. And waited. . . .while they determined whether or not they were supposed to take out some trees. They finally got it straightened out by 10:30 or so, so I did basically nothing all morning. Mostly boring from thereafter: I noted what they were finding and checked the sediment, etc. Of course, at 3:30 they found a bunch of posts, not prehistoric, but probably from the time of the building of the dike. And of course I didn't have the monitoring plan with me since it had been boring and useless up to that point. So, called Randall at Cascadia and we figured out what to do, called the Army Corps and arranged to send them some photos and a description and they'll figure it out tomorrow morning. I didn't leave the site until 4:30, but the drive was fairly quick. But I have to go out again tomorrow -- which is good because it gets me out of the other project and I can work out tomorrow morning before heading up there.

It was cloudy and cool all morning so I was out there in my new $5 hoody. Finally turned sunny and mid-upper 70s. We didn't walk because I have so much to do here with unpacking, getting photos off, etc. I can't wait for this week to be over with!!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

9 July 2012

Beat. To. Heck. Survey today up by the I-90/SR-18 interchange, a continuation of a project we started last November. We're doing some Forest Service land that we hadn't permission to do yet last time. Criminy. Heavy, heavy vegetation, much of it with pickers on it. It's warm so I wore short sleeves and now my arms look like a wild feral cat was having its way with them. Thankfully, Rod called and said they'd like to have me out at Stanwood tomorrow instead of Wednesday so at least I get a day to let them heal a bit. So tomorrow I go out there instead. This other thing might last until Friday, sadly, but I hope we get it done Thursday. Still, it'll make me appreciate the vacation next week even more.

Wasn't a bad day though, mostly. It was cloudy most of the morning and quite comfortable, but once the sun broke through it got very warm. Found nothing, as usual, but it was relatively easy digging. On the way home much of I-90 was backed up as El Senor Vice Presidente was motoring around in his motorcade and so lots of lanes were closed. Ended up getting home by 5:20, so not bad.

I spent most of the intervening time eating, showering, going for a walk, and unpacking stuff. It's sunny every day lately so I have to water, too. And we have rats in the back again, under the concrete. C'mon neighborhood cats, get in here and feast!

Started taking this here doxycyclene (Oracea) this morning. It may actually have helped already, mine face isn't quite as red as usual. Let's hope.

Dead now. Must relax.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

8 July 2012 (Sunday)

Yet another warm (83) sunny day. Back to watering stuff every night. I have the same primrose in the front yard under the azalea for the last 5 years or so and I won't give up on it!

Stupid me woke up at 4:30, blehh, kinda put a damper on the day. Waffles again, only slightly burned. I think the Spousal Unit needs to turn down the heat on that thing. I did manage to take a short nap around 9:30-10 which helped. About the only thing positive I got done this morning was to compose an email to Marty at Calvary with some question on some dead people. We also walked up there this evening to try to read one I'd not done earlier (well, I did it, but then lost that data) but still couldn't read it. That was a good walk up there; lots of people out eating dinner on their patios.

We hit a couple of estate sales before lunch and bought nothing, although at least one of the houses was a really gorgeous 1960s thing up above Sand Point. I kind of wanted an old working Victrola record player, but it would have been $75. The other one was more of a yard sale, and on the table was a little invitation or whatever to a sorority/fraternity Fall party from 1938. Turned out to be an actual dance card with some names in it. I asked the old lady -- "grandmother" -- if it was hers and she said yes, and the son/grandson? said she shouldn't sell that. The daughter/grandaughter said she thought was sweet of me to do (not to me, of course). Nice people.

We had lunch outside at UVil and I. . .*sigh*. . . .got a couple of prescriptions filled. For the ($*@%($@ rosacea. Here I've been thinking for years "Hey, I'm so healthy I don't need no stinking prescriptions" and now I've got like 5 of the dumb things. I hope this junk -- doxycyclene -- clears it up. Carol from Assumption said someone she knows had this and took some antibx's for a few months and it went away never to return. *cross fingers*

We hit another estate sale on the way home, back in our old stomping grounds, where we did buy something: an old art deco ceiling light fixture. Pretty neat. Little bit of wear, but not too bad. I'm going to rewire it -- I know how to do that now -- and try it in my little room here.

I cleaned some after we got home and that was about it. I've been listening to my old Styx albume (The Grand Illusion) this afternoon after watching a bit of a movie called "Man in the Wilderness" which is also the name of a song on that album. Styx was one of my favorite bands when I was first discovering music, i.e., rock & roll. Seems a bit overdramatic these days, but I still adore it. They managed to create really interesting prog rock but still <I>rocking</I>. Excellent recording, too. And bring me back to the old days when I had nothing to look forward to except having as much fun as I could. What the heck happened in the meantime?????

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7 July 2012

It. Is. Finished.

Well, mostly. The Calvary Cemetery Survey Project with me as the PI. I did the last sections today and there are no more to do. Actually that's somewhat not true as I didn't bother with one area as it's very new and there shouldn't be any <1920 burials in there, but even so there aren't any old monument anyway, so I'd only be missing maybe one old one for demographics. Thus, for all intents and purposes, I am done. There are some exceptions, of course: there will undoubtedly be some problems that will necessitate going back out to fix, but mostly it's done. I wasn't sure I'd even finish it, to be honest, even though I had every intention of doing so. It did start to look like more work than I'd bargained for, but it was interesting enough to me that I stuck with it. Plus, it's been a nice way to keep the unemployment blues away with something of reasonable importance to do. This morning I kind of wondered whether being unemployed (or marginally employed) all this time was perhaps meant to be so I could finish this. I guess we'll never know. I hope it's worthwhile to the Calvary staff.

I started it with my old Palm device with HandBase on 13 October 2009 and ended with an iPad and Filemaker on 7 July 2012.

Otherwise, not a bad day. I woke up too early but went back to sleep, and then we had to go out for breakfast as we didn't have anything in the house. I went to Calvary around 8:30 and was done by 10:30. All I had left to do were the front sections where I knew there wouldn't be many, but I really didn't expect to finish. But it went quickly and even with a small hiccup wondering if I'd done a certain section -- I hadn't, but I consulted my notes and found that I noted where I'd stopped -- it was only a couple of hours. We drove up to North Bend after that for lunch at the North Bend Bar & Grill and shopping at the outlet mall. At the latter I snagged a black hoodie for $5! I got it mainly for fieldwork. The NBBG is a place we've gone to for years. We started going up there in the early '90s with the Twin Peaks craze and make it up there every few months still, usually before Xmas and once in the spring, maybe in the summer. Even stopped at the Safeway up there for breakfast material and a snack (I actually got a banana), mainly because it was handy, but also to get another illicit plastic shopping bag! Take that, scum-sucking enviro-Nazis.

Well, we made it back okay -- carefully avoiding the tolled 520 -- and then vegged out in the warm house (80-ish today) before dinner and then a decent walk. First day of the window box fan in the kitchen!

Friday, July 6, 2012

6 July 2012

So. A view into my twisted head: I woke up at 3:45 (probably more like 3:30) because I was dreaming of the following. Digging a deep hole in the front yard I came upon three what may best be described as giant squid worms. Like big clumps of giant worms. Figured they weren't alive or something so I kept digging. . .WHEN ONE OF THEM JUMPED UP! And it started trying to climb out. Really, it looked something like a weird cross between a spider, squid, and dozens of worms for tentacles. Then it came after me and I realized that I hadn't left myself a way out of the hole and I noticed that it had big, giant, horrible fangs! And at that moment. . . .

I simultaneously wondered if the phone call from Bank of America that I'd ignored the evening before had been them calling to tell me I'd overdrafted when the mortgage payment went through. Hence, I woke up in a panic. Criminy.

I then proceeded to decide that I wasn't going back to sleep and went and got a Diet Coke. ANd then started another by 5. Ugh. Well, it made for a truly epic workout, a definite positive since the man cave area downstairs was crawling with females.

And after that horrible dream I stopped by an ATM on the way home to check my balance (*whew*). And get bagels. My new monitoring plan has turned into a. . . .well, bigger than I'd thought. The consultants are all concerned that everything is correct, and they're sending it to the tribes for additional comments to make sure they're all okay with it. JAYsus, why couldn't I have a nice simple one first time out? They didn't have much commentary on it though, so that was okay. That work may happen next week so I may not be digging holes up by SR-18 all week after all.

The big news is that I went to Calvary and finished yet another section. I think I have only 2-3 large areas left and, as these are up top near the office, they are nearly all recent so not many to record. This was a fairly large section and I did it in less than two hours, so theoretically I could finish this whole project up this weekend if I play my cards right.

Saw a dead bird on the way over there -- I walked up and the Spousal Unit came to get me for lunch -- and I said my usual 'prayer' whenever I see a dead critter, something to the effect of "Grant it a quick and painless death". I go on the assumption that a supreme being would operate outside of space-time and could make it so regardless of how it met its fate. At least, it makes me feel better. I've also taken to saying something similar as thanks for meat that I eat, although I'm not always vigilant in doing so.

I met Fiona as usual at the SBux in UVil. Not much eye candy for her (as usual) but I was blessed with an abundance (as usual). Had great fun dissecting fashion choices. I even got a call from the Army Corps while waiting for her and did a little business. Happily I remembered all his suggestions so when I got home I sent him an updateable Word doc.

For some reason, the 4th of July fireworks have been continuing today, more so than in past years, I think. Also, a lot more BIG ones. Like 'M80s' or whatever the big boomy ones are. Lola was barking at something last night as well around 11, though I don't know if it was fireworks-related or not (probably a cat or raccoon). The Spousal Unit got up to check the yard -- she was barking into ours mostly -- so I didn't bother.

And so this week ends. It seems long with the break on Wednesday. Another sunny day, around 76, so summer is definitely here. Not too many people out for a walk tonight, but a few dog walkers and three cats.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 July 2012

OMG. . .it's summer! 75 degrees today! Whatever shall I do?

Go stand around a cemetery, obviously. Which I did this afternoon, although I was mostly walking. I did an entire section today, since it was a newer area -- "newer" as in 1920s-30s mostly. Except in the north center of the rows where there were quite a few <1920s ones, albeit not many in need of full recording. I think I have only two more large sections to do but I believe there will be few older graves in them so I think I am definitely headed downhill toward the finish.

One was quite touching a 25-year old young lady named Tessie Laurette Maccabe whose marker was almost covered up by grass and was quite worn. I felt sad that a young woman who barely got a start in adult life now lies nearly forgotten. There are a lot of those, but she also had to have her marker donated by some organization.

I did that this afternoon after lunch and washing my car. Now that it won't be raining for a while, I'd like to get it clean so's I can just California Car Duster it every now and then. I spent the morning doing piddly little Cascadia-related things, although I did do some on the monitoring plan, which I must break off this entry to go fill out my time-sheet for. . . .done. AND I made my own quad map for the first time! And found the document that Jana didn't attach that she'd modified.

So anyway, that was about it. Well, yes, another really good workout, as usual, though there weren't that many people there today. I expect quite a few tomorrow.

I brought up the fan for the first time this year. We have two fans as our air conditioning: it cools down here considerably overnight, so we put fans in two windows to pull the cool air in. If it gets into the 80s for several days straight it doesn't work so well, but it's acceptable. If our windows would fit one, I'd get an AC unit for one window just to have one nice, cool room, but it's not really worth it since our summers aren't that distressing anyway. Sometimes I wonder how I made it through those many years in Wisconsin without AC; I remember being uncomfortable a lot though, and we all slept on the porch a few times. I have quite fond memories of having a fan in my room and feeling it blow on me in the night. Several years ago I started using a small fan next to the bed all year round, mostly because the white noise helped me to sleep, but it's also got that nostalgic hold on me (plus it cools the room down some and keeps the air circulating). Kind of a waste of electricity, perhaps, but it is one of the few pleasures I allow myself.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4 July 2012

Another 4th of July. On a Wednesday, what a lousy day to have a holiday on: one day off and then back to work. Truly, however, it was a spectacular day here: sunny and around 70. Usually it's at least cloudy, often rainy. But the weather seems to have shifted to dry mode and the next several days look to be sunny and warm. Finally!

Am listening to Nat King Cole as I type this. For some reason, I like listening to this CD during the summer. I bought it several years ago, maybe during the summer, and end up listening to it primarily during the warm months. It's not my favorite jazz/old CD, but I adore several songs from it, such as Route 66 (playing now) which is kind of summery (road trips for vacation, donchaknow) and of course Lazy Days of Summer. The latter is a wonderful exposition on what (we imagine, probably) summers used to be like: being outdoors barbecuing hot dogs and drinking beer (and girls on the beach in their bikinis!).

We both woke up at 5 this morning, me by accident, Spousal Unit on purpose so she could have more time to work on an assignment. I had to walk up to Top Pot and get a donut by 8:15 and ate the whole thing. I then watched an old Twilight Zone ep until 9 and then went to Calvary. SciFi (now "SyFy" ugh) does a Twilight Zone marathon every 4th of July and I love it. It really kicked off my love for the early 1960s. Most I've seen before dozens of times, but I hadn't seen the one at 8:30 ("Caesar and Me"). I got a decent amount done there, and the Spousal Unit drove over (I'd walked) and we went to lunch at UVil. After that, I washed the Honda and went back to Calvary and finished up a section: the last old section. The end is in sight! The remaining areas have a lot of graves, but I don't think there are going to be that many <1920 ones.

And I successfully transfered the data from the iPad to the computer. Go me.

And so, another Independence day winds down. Walked, and now after I enter this I shall go watch the TV and probably more Twilight Zones. It's also Jack's designated birthday: he's 6 this year. We won't watch any fireworks, as usual, as we'll both be in bed before they even start.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 July 2012 (Tuesday)

Some news today on my former diarist: The good folks from FindAGrave.com have provided a picture of May's grave site:



And there Lillie May lies in repose. I hope some family member comes across it and can tell me more about May at some point. As it is, that's probably the end of the line for the time being, now that I know her birth and death dates and where she's buried. Odd that she's buried with her daughter rather than Walter (from both their perspectives I guess). She apparently didn't like her first name either; wonder why, I think it's quite pretty. Well, to each her own.

I'm actually a bit sad seeing that, but in a good kind of way. She's been gone for almost 32 years and I never even knew she existed until a little over a year ago. I wonder what she was like as a person. She seemed like a nice lady: never said negative things about anybody in any entry, didn't really complain about anything, always fairly positive. I'd like to think we would have been friends if we'd ever met.

Requiescat in pace, May. And thank you.

Today was a pretty good day, all things considered. Slept until the alarm and a decent enough workout. I've learned over the years and more recently as well that the one thing that has the biggest impact on my workouts is hydration. I found out a few years ago that if I drank 10-12 ounces of water late in the afternoon my workouts the next morning went much better. And more recently, I discovered that if I do the same thing earlier than 5 am -- say, waking up at 4:30 and guzzling a Diet Coke -- I do much better as well.

Note that I am not planning on waking up at 4:30 every morning to guzzle a Diet Coke though.

I worked on my first monitoring plan all morning, which turned out to be not much different than a report: a project description, some background, contact information, and then plugging in the usual stuff. I need a map yet, so I'll do that Thursday.

In the afternoon I piddled around with the Calvary data, and then on a lark went over there and took photos of all the ones whose data I lost yesterday and tried to re-enter them from those; I was only partially successful, as the very worn ones are difficult to do from a photograph. Sometimes I read names and dates and such more by feel than sight. So, I must go look at a couple of them again, probably tomorrow. On the way back I stopped by Assumption to drop off some food donations, but they were already closed for the holiday.

After that some correspondence with the project people via email, dinner, and then a walk.

It was raining hard between about 4 and 5 this morning and then it rained from about 2 until 5 again this afternoon, and only hit the mid-60s. Starting tomorrow the weather people say it will dry up and we'll get into our usual summer.

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 July 2012

Nothing new to report on the Lillie May findings, still waiting for a FindAGrave volunteer to take a photo of her gravesite. Oddly, this afternoon out at Calvary I came across another "Lillie", born around 1896 and dying a scant seven years later. Sadly, her marker was mostly smashed up and largely unreadable, but we were able to figure out who it was based on location.

Speaking of Calvary, stupid Filemaker (or me) screwed up and did not copy the newly entered sata correctly and ended up losing all that I'd entered this afternoon. [insert nasty words here] I may need to find some other way of doing this to ensure that doesn't happen again. It's working better, but still needs work.

Anyway, I mostly slept through the night and woke up at 4:45, so today was MUCH better than yesterday. Decent workout, talked to Hannah a bit. This morning I just went to Cascadia to drop off my time sheet and expenses, and then went to Calvary for an hour or so (that data went in okay), and then home for lunch which was not Mickey D's (Spouse is home M-W usually, M-W-F for another week). Happily, I got my PH in Egypt paper back from Rob (Wenke) and he liked it and made only a few comments on the content. There are a couple of arguments I might need to make more forcefully (my critique, not his), but after reading through it again, it reads pretty well. Haven't heard from Andie, but I may suggest writing a shorter, less academic version for her site and try putting this one in a real journal instead.

It's raining as I write this, perhaps the last rain for a while as the forecast bills July 5 as the start of a warm spell, but the way early summer has gone we may not get too many stretches of dry and sunny weather. I got the materials for the monitoring plan I need to write, so yet another new thing for me to do -- it looks largely like a regular report so I'm not hyperventilating.

Otherwise, we went to UVil to get some things and Bartell's gave us a plastic bag! It's a heavier one and I suspect that they may be trying to get around the ($)@(*@&#&@%$ ban by distributing multi-use plastic bags instead of single-use ones which the $_@*(^$@#&( ban went after.

Not that I'm irritated or anything. . . .

Sunday, July 1, 2012

1 July 2012 (Sunday)

Have some more news regarding our diarist. Over at ArchaeoBlog, a reader found her full name and a photo (link to that at a link at a link, etc.): Lillie May Reasoner, born 10 June 1886(!) and died 14 November 1980(!). That means she was around 62 in 1948, which was older than I had thought. What was amazing is that she lived for another 32 years after that diary was written -- almost another lifetime! Quite the looker, too, I might add:

Desert Fox

She is apparently buried up in Bellingham, as I suspected. Awaiting a FindAGrave.com photo request. Thanks, Lillie -- I like that name better -- rest in peace, young lady.

Tired, tired, tired. I went and woke up at God knows what hour last night and realized quickly that sleep was not going to return anytime soon. So I read the remaining pages of The Thorn Birds (probably the 8th time I've read it, maybe only the 2nd or 3rd all the way through) and. . .still remained awake. Finally dozed off for a while there after the birds started singing, but was still dead most of the day. During my wakefulness I decided that I should start thinking of my stay here in Seattle most definitely not as 'home'. As I put it to myself, I'm residing here to work and serve my family and others, nothing more. I don't know as I've ever grown particularly attached to this place and it's just gotten loopier lately.

Hence, this morning I mostly worked on household chores -- changing the litter, doing the dishes, etc. -- and not goofing off on the Interwebs or anything. We went to Northgate for lunch and the Spousal Unit looked for some clothing for her Chicago trip. That was the only outside thing we did all day, save for walking just now. This afternoon I did some more chores and even baked cookies! Had a new recipe involving sea salt that I wanted to try. They turned out quite well, although I'd bet the salt didn't do much. But I was patient and took Fiona's advice and waited two minutes before taking them off the rack (otherwise they fall apart).

And I watched the last few minutes of The Matrix again: I don't think I care much for the entire movie, but the last bit is one of the most awesome endings in movies. Too bad they ruined the whole thing by making the two sequels.

At the moment I'm listening to an old Marshal Tucker Band LP (yes, a record) as I've been doing the 1980s thing all day. It felt like the right thing to do after last night. I do so hope at least this frame of mind stays with me for a while. I've gone through similar days in the last couple of years where I feel very good about my mindset but it fades after a day or two, although I believe some of the effects hang on.

Right now all I want to do is rip these dry tired-eye contacts off of my eyeballs!

Oh, weather was mid-60s, rainy this morning, cloudy the rest of the day.