Thursday, August 30, 2012

30 August 2012

Difficulty sleeping again last night and awoke at 4:15, but I was not terribly distressed at that, as I drank a Diet Pepsi and had a good workout because of it. Also I was a bit irritated due to the discussion on the Mike & Mike program; they were asking if people would be rooting for Penn St. this weekend and most were saying Yes. I disagreed and sent them the email at the bottom of this explaining why.

Otherwise, I went to Cascadia to drop off a screen this morning and then dropped the thumb drive we found last week at the Evangelical Chinese Church in Ballard. I mailed it but it came back postage due, so I just took it over instead. Then I, errrr, hit a couple of Goodwills looking for stereo stuff. Nothing really: one Pioneer receiver (15W) for like $40 (uh-uh) and a single Advent 2002 (pass).

Once I got home I just worked on the Calvary report the rest of the day. I did the section on inscriptions and broke down at one point; not because they were making me sad of themselves, but it's been building up the last few days. Felt better afterwards.

And at 4 I watched the first college football kickoff! S. Carolina @ Vanderbilt. Admittedly, I'm not all that gung ho about college football this year, probably because going to Egypt cuts out half the season. But I plan on watching as much as I can before I leave.

Email:

I won't be rooting for Penn St. this weekend and it has nothing to do with "the victims". Here's why:

Since the NCAA sanctions came down there are two arguments that have really bothered me. The first is that the sanctions will be punishing people "who had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal"; and second, that the program didn't gain any competitive advantage "on the field" from Paterno et al.'s silence. I profoundly disagree with both of these arguments for the following reasons.

There were a *lot* of people who contributed to the notion that Paterno and his program were somehow sacrosanct and above reproach. Active players. Former players. Alumni. Boosters. Fans. Not to mention local and national media. There were very few dissenting voices. There is little question in my mind but that this created an atmosphere that allowed Paterno and his staff to believe that they really could do no wrong and led them to protect that reputation -- and success on the field -- at all costs.

Of course they benefited "on the field". That sterling reputation certainly helped in recruiting better players. Do you really think they would have gotten as many top notch players had they gone into people's living rooms admitting they had a child molester in the program? And this culture of silence certainly helped in fundraising and television revenues. The team benefited, the program benefited, and the community of fans and assorted hangers-on benefited from maintaining a sterling reputation.

Now, you may argue that not many people knew about Sandusky's activities. While that may be true, there were certainly plenty of other signs that Paterno had too much power. ESPN's own reporting suggested that players in trouble with the law or in trouble with the school were getting preferential treatment (e.g., http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3504915). But hey, it was JoePa, he'll take care of it, he's got a sterling reputation, remember?

One might also ask why no one in the sports media bothered to question why an apparently talented defensive coordinator like Sandusky -- and in line to be the next head coach at Penn St. -- all of a sudden dropped off the map. . . .but still had an office on campus? Maybe no one asked because, well, Penn St. had such a sterling reputation, remember?

Admittedly, blame is hard to assign in these instances. People have been arguing over the culpability of the German people during Hitler's rise to power, the culpability of the American people in the institution of slavery, etc. But I think that it is impossible to argue that this whole culture of near-worship over Paterno and his program didn't encourage their behavior and led people to not ask serious questions about how the program was really run.

So no, I won't be rooting for Penn St. this weekend. I may not be rooting against them either, but I will admit that I wouldn't mind seeing Penn St. lose a few games to MAC opponents or even a few Division II schools in the coming years as a little recompense for all those years of looking the other way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29 August 2012

Couldn't get to sleep last night due to, well, probably working on my Calvary report after 7 pm. I really need to wind down after 7. Miss Ambien got me to sleep through the night though so that was okay. The workout didn't go as well as I would have expected, but still not a bad one.

I spent most of today working on my Calvary report and got quite a bit done. Charlie from KC sent me a report on KC cemeteries he'd done so now I have some background to work into it, and Marty sent me some info on Calvary so even that should be in place tomorrow. The Spouse and I went to UVil for lunch, a longer one than usual as she quit early due to not feeling well. That was kind of nice, we went to Pallino, an Italian place there. Nice change from Mickey D's. I bought a pie, too.

In the afternoon I worked more on the report and lemon Pledged my car interior: I think it really helps prevent the vinyl from cracking and tearing. I even put some on the headliner, but where I sprayed it in one spot it got kind of lighter so I hope it doesn't "stain" it. Mostly kind of a boring day, albeit productive. No rain here either, darn it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28 August 2012 (Tuesday)

Man oh man, I had one of the best workouts in a long time this morning. . . .and that's saying something. Don't know why, although I slept well last night and guzzled a good amount of tea before leaving. Probably mental, I was really feeling. . . .determined. About things. In general.

Came home and finished writing the draft of the Port Susan report, even figuring out the sectioning without too much swearing. That went out and then the rest of the morning I spent looking up names in the Calvary data. I ended up not finding 300 out of around 1300, so that's not all that bad. Once I got that squared away, this afternoon I started working on a report to send to them. It struck me that I could use one of our canned archaeological reports as a base and basically do a survey report from it. There will be more data and tables and such, but I should -- barring fieldwork cropping up -- be able to get that largely finished this week.

I am bound and determined to work, study, and serve others.

It occurred to me this morning that perhaps my big problem hasn't been so much not having a Big Goal or not knowing what to do after grad school but just having been burned out. I mean, for years and year I worked and went to school and didn't make a lot of money. Maybe I just wanted to not do a whole lot for a while, make money, and spend it on stuff. That's not good for me though; I need a challenge or I think I get soft and lazy and feel cruddy about myself.

Anyway, made bean sheise for dinner and then we went to City Peoples and the pharmacy over there for a walk. I am hoping it rains a decent amount tonight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

27 August 2012

The scene last night: As is my usual, I started awake around 1:30 and realized I probably had to go to the TV room to get back to sleep right away (also, I had to use the facility rather badly). That always means stealing quietly out of the bedroom so as not to wake the Spousal Unit. Well, as I get around the end of the bed, all of a sudden said Spousal Unit leaps out of bed, cuts me off at the doorway saying "I have to use the bathroom" and proceeds to march down the hall, turn the light on, and close the door.

Huh.

Anyway, I mostly got back to sleep right away, so a decent night's sleep after all.

After my usual pretty good workout, I spent most of the rest of the morning working on the Port Susan Bay report. Hit Mickey D's for lunch, worked on said report some more, and then went down to UVil to trade in some coins and mail back the trowels I'd mistakenly ordered; got the 4.5" instead of the 5". Has bumped up the cost, but, well, when one screws up one must accept the consequences. Much to many's dismay these days, let me tell you.

Oh, I have decided Word and Excel for the Mac are utterly retarded and I may go back to OpenOffice. You can't, for example, use F2 to edit a cell's contents, you have to use ctrl-U for whatever stupid reason. That's actually not that bad; if you want to overtype (from insert mode) in Word you have to plow through menus to Word|Preferences|Edit|Overtype. WTF? At least in OO they have a little button at the bottom to switch back and forth (why the hell can't you just use the Insert key like, oh, I don't know, every other stinking platform? Plus it's a pig. Well, whatever, software has just gone to crap anymore.

Am listening to a playlist I named STFU, which is a bunch of early '80s stuff that got me through some bad times back then. I use it for therapy.

We walked to the post office to mail the release form giving the MOHAI ownership of the 1948 diary and also the thumb drive we found in the field. I hope this good deed does go unpunished.

Otherwise, it was a peachy day, sunny and high around 75. Supposedly showers early Wednesday which I would like immensely.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

26 August 2012

Better day today than yesterday, beginning with a lot more sleep: 5:18 this morning! I wonder if, in 20 years' time, I will go back and read these entries and marvel at how much sleep I was getting or how little?

But hey, my attitude is better today as well, although every now and then the anxiety creeps back in, but I've managed to stifle it quickly. Seeing as I had sufficient rest, I went to Mass again. All the hot moms were out today so it was a nicely distracting Mass. Really, if you want more people (okay, men) to attend Mass more often, make the altar servers 23-year old women in short skirts and the place will be absolutely filled. While sitting there I also had the brilliant idea of making a video demonstrating many different ways to give the "sign of peace" to each other. Why just a handshake? I thought of the knuckle-bump of peace, the chest-bump of peace, the high-five of peace, low-five, etc. I'd get a million YouTube views in like three days.

Once back, I turned my attention to another Car Lust post, this time for the 5-year blogiversary -- I thought it was older than that. So I whipped out a nice little (IMO) piece which I need to re-edit some. Will provide a link when it runs.

We were quite regular today and went to UVil only, seeing as it was such a beautiful day we just had to eat lunch outside. Quite a few people there today, and too many kids -- strike that, too many loud kids -- but it was still rather excruciatingly pleasant. We got home kind of early and I spent some of the rest of the afternoon working on the post some more before assembling dinner, which consisted of a hunk of salmon, collards, and corn on the cob. I found none of it terribly appealing for some reason, but the bread pudding that the spouse made was quite tasty, especially with some gloppy Cool Whip on top. We've just got back from our walk and will watch the Funny Videos show and then one of Les Stroud's new Survivorman episodes: this time he's out for 10 days rather than 7.

It's gotten cloudy but the rain hath stayed out at the coast, much to my dismay. I'm hoping we get several rainy days before I leave.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

25 August 2012 (Saturday)

I feel another Great Purge of stuff coming on. As the previous post may have suggested, I was in a funk for the last couple of days, entirely due to the Project not paying for my airfare. She'd said they usually don't, but last year said she'd see what they could do, but seemed more negative this time. So that sent me off on . . . well, whatever. I sunk right back into the whole scared, pathetic, sad little me schtick.

I WILL NOT GO THERE AGAIN.

I didn't move out here with nothing but a carload of junk to turn into a soft, comfortable, squishy, whiny, scared little wuss. I came out here to get my degree and work. And forget a lot of stuff. Things, I don't need. Work and something to accomplish, I do. So no more. I am going to constantly remind myself what I came out here to do.

And I might do a large purge of stuff tomorrow. One of the things I was thinking was that I didn't come out here to collect a lot of junk, like Lara Croft figures and Mr. Potato Head Indiana Jones's. I'd like to pare down and only have a few items as memorabilia and keep focused on the business to hand.

Add so: my day started, lousily, at 4 am. Fortunately, I watched TV for a while and was able to go back to sleep for a little while between 5 and 6 so it wasn't a total waste of a sunny Saturday. We went out for breakfast, and then I tried to do some reading on cemetery data analysis, but my head wasn't concentrating. I read out on the front steps for a while and then watched some of the 'making of. . .' on the Tron DVD we watched last night. Never saw that movie when it came out, never played the video game much, but we watched the new one, Tron: Legacy, a while back and I really liked it (Olivia Wilde in a skin-tight latex outfit assisted that greatly, I must admit) so I wanted to see the original. Very 1980s (which probably helped me get into my current mood actually). The effects weren't nearly as good as I (vaguely) remembered them to be and the story was cornier, but I still quite liked it.

We hit two estate sales on the way back from Northgate and Target (to pick up contacts), and I only got an old Herb Alpert "Whipped Cream" LP -- my parents had it when I was a kid and I loved the music, but I was too young at the time to fully, ah, appreciate the cover art -- which I will probably never play, but I hope the lady on the front will come back up to Seattle again so I can get her autograph.

At any rate, we didn't get back until almost 3:30 so little downtime before dinner/supper, although I spent part of it doing ArchaeoBlog stuff. Watched some of the new Star Trek movie while preparing dinner; I'm liking it more as time goes by. Walked up to Riot Aid to get more astringent.

Hopefully, I will stay in this mood for the indefinite future.

Friday, August 24, 2012

24 August 2012

Archaeology just doesn't get any better than this.

He says, sarcastically. Boooooring day. All day in a vacant lot that used to be a school. Mostly concrete and pushed dirt. Oye vey. Well, two shovel probes, the rest waiting around mostly.

Slept in the bed all night, yay for me. Mostly I am in a bad mood -- well, not bad, just very. . . .melancholy. Hence the lack of EXCITEMENT in this entry. Got to work with Jenny from HRA this afternoon which was pleasant. We also found a portable DVD player and thumb drive in the bushes and it seemed like stolen property that had been dumped. I checked the thumb drive and may have found at least something related to the owner so it may find its way back.

Otherwise, I'm not in the mood tonight.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

23 August 2012

Well, I slept well last night. . . . .

Worked out well this morning. . . . .

Then spent most of the day sitting on my @ss waiting for them to start digging! They said they'd start around 1 but they were still placing rocks when I got there and didn't start excavating until 3. They finished a little before 4:30 so it wasn't too bad. I ate dinner in Stanwood at a McD's (salad) and then got a banana and a donut at a Haggen's grocery and then headed back home. Made it by 6:15. When I got there I walked around the outside (west) dike to get to the other end since I'd never done it before. It was quite pleasant although not a whole lot to see: the west side is salt marsh so just marsh grasses and the inner part is marshy old farmland; not much wildlife. Still, it's good to have this project over as it's been mostly dull, dull, dull.

That's about it, although I bought my Egypt tickets. =( Almost $1500. I was planning on going through Dubai on Emirates but the layover was 20 hours! Went to the backup of American to NYC and then EgyptScare to Cairo: total 19.5 hours and I get in at 11 am so I'll have a day to get acclimated. I admit I feel better about going now for some reason. Maybe it was just the fear of the unknown and now there's at least a known for it. Or maybe I'm just in a lull before getting stressed out again. But whatever, barring revolution, I'll be there in early October.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

22 August 2012

Historic diary update: I've been making attempts to locate another one and even bid on a couple on eBay, but to no avail. Admittedly, I'm not that interested in paying very much for one; I am kind of balking at spending more than $15 or so and they are tending to go for more than that. So, eh, I'll get lucky one of these days.

Eek, a troubled night of sleep. Took a while to get there and then had to get up at 4:30 to go to Stanwood. Nice day though, and a couple of young and attractive female filmmakers were there. I don't know if they got much of me, they were mostly doing the construction stuff, but who knows. Made for a nice break in the morning. Only went until about noon today, and then we'll probably do some tomorrow, if it doesn't rain in the morning which it might. Otherwise, will probably go up around noon-ish. If they cancel due to precip then I may call Jenny and see if I can go meet them for their work.

Kind of boring: they were excavating next to the flood control structure in mostly fill *yawn* and then a little deeper but still probably disturbed. It was the usual gray clay but had a lot of woody debris in it and some of the cribbing we found earlier. The drive home went very well and I stopped at Burger King for a spot o' lunch and didn't get sleepy on the drive. When I got home I found the rat(s) had tunneled their way out so obviously the smoke hadn't gotten them again. I may have one more attempt utilizing two bombs in two separate holes -- maybe that'll get 'em. Otherwise, I might give poison a try (stuck in the hole so it doesn't get anything else). I'm tempted to adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but I fear they'd breed and end up undermining all of the concrete back there, so they must go. Hate to just block them in. . . .

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 August 2012 (Tuesday)

Three projects in three days: today I bricked around the concrete slab outside the back door where rats have been living. I suspect that none were under there, but I gas bombed under it before bricking it all up anyway. I do so hope nothing is under there; I want to get rid of them and will kill them with the gas if need be, but I'm not cruel. Then again, the little buggers are incredibly resourceful and they'd probably find another way out anyway.

After working out, I came home and piddled around until 10:30 when I went out to Lowe's and Cascadia to grab a screen, stopping by Sam's Club on the way for some items and gas ($3.85). Teresa was there and has one thing possibly for next week out on Orcas which would necessitate at least one overnight stay -- yay! That would be nice. Wonder if I'd have to stay on San Juan. . . .

The bricking went reasonably well. I did the south side which is more exposed by the fence and where they've mostly been entering and exiting, and I believe I have everything blocked up. Then I had enough bricks left over that I lined the west side on the lawn boundary as well, where they had another couple of entrances. If they're still there they'll probably come out again on the next slab down.

After that I was kind of tired, but I did some grave lookups, which is very tedious and I dislike doing it. Dinner was a relatively plain sourdough bread with spaghetti sauce and meat, all home made (except the bread, Panerra). Tonight we went to Northgate to get watch batteries changed -- which we promptly forgot to bring -- and also went to Target for a couple of brushes. Nice little walk. It's very cloudy and cool out now and tomorrow is also supposed to be cool and cloudy so I will need my sweatshirt.

Monday, August 20, 2012

20 August 2012

As I type this I am listening to U2's One Tree Hill from The Joshua Tree. It was years before I realized what an utterly cool song this was.

First thing this morning I had something of an epiphany: regularity is the enemy of my peace of mind. I think half of my trouble the last several years was the fact that I was doing nothing differently: wake up, ride the bus, work out, sit in a cubicle and do the same thing day after day, go home, eat dinner, walk, fiddle around, rinse, repeat. And in fact that's generated much of the kind of fear/anxiety/panic I've felt strongly at times: doing something different like not being able to work out! Or going in early! Or. . . .whatever! Having to fix something in the house! I think it started even back right after I got my PhD in 2001 because I was scared to death of heading to Egypt in 2003, much like I've been feeling now. You get in a groove and you just don't want to get out of it, stifling though it is.

So this morning I. . . . .shaved differently! Yeah, I know, not earth-shattering, but it was a start. And then I proceeded to buy and affix two new 2x4's to the spaces between the patio slabs out back this morning. So another project done with a minimum of fuss or fear. I think I must have a certain amount of uncertainty to function properly. . . . .

But at any rate, I had a fabu workout and then mostly piddled around with emails and such including an email to S.S. who was our so-project director in Egypt in 2003. I had an old email from her, but it turns out she's back in S----- instead of Egypt and is now unemployed. Too bad, but not entirely unexpected given the state of things. Was hoping to see her and husband F in Egypt, but he may still be there in October.

The patio thing went quite well, although I had to spend some time digging out the old decayed wood from the one section -- almost like a rich, dark brown soil had developed. Both went in fairly easily and look okay there. Hopefully I didn't trap any rats in one of them. I mean, I'd like them to go away but not die a lingering death trapped under our slab. We did lunch at McD's again and then I came back and edited my PH in Egypt paper. Not too many changes, a sentence here and there and some grammatical fixes. I was a little reluctant to send it to this web-based magazine/journal as it's not peer-reviewed, but I'm coming to determine that perhaps this is better anyway: there are not that many good peer-reviewed archaeology journals that would take this and this way it will get WAY more exposure. I think it's the wave of the future. So that was done, meaning TWO projects finished in one day.

Then I got the email that fieldwork doesn't occur until Wednesday instead of tomorrow (Tuesday). Grrrr. Oh well, I can do some more projects tomorrow, like obtaining bricks to pave around all the patio slabs. . . .

Sunday, August 19, 2012

19 August 2012

Several awakenings last night, but I slept until 5:30. Go me.

That meant Mass today. Thin crowd. Not bad. Much cooler today, cloudy all morning, and only got up to around 72. Excruciatingly pleasant. Didn't do much after Mass, just watched TV, snoozed for ten minutes, and then we went to the PetSmart and hardware store. At the former I got new/old litter and a new littler box. While we were away the MiL bought some new clumping litter. I've tried it once before and didn't like it, but for a couple days this time it seemed to be working out: no litter being scattered into the rest of the house. But it soon became a pain in the @$$. Oh sure, it's nice when it clumps up into a nice little ball, but half the time it cements a glob to the bottom of the box. So, back to the old stuff. At the hardware store I got some screws for the doors, but went back and got different ones later as the first batch wasn't quite right. That's what I did this afternoon, and will still probably replace the other screws this week (I just did the deadbolts today).

We had lunch at the Italian place, not too bad. Yer basic grocery shopping. Blah blah blah. The Spousal Unit made pasta sauce and I made the meat stuff, so we had that for dinner, and then walked over to the Wedgwood Rock and back, around 45 minutes. I thought I looked fat this morning so we went for a good long walk.

Tomorrow, I plan on getting a 2x4 for the patio seam -- I think rats are getting in under there as well *sigh* -- and look into lining all of the concrete with a layer of decorative bricks to prevent them getting under there ever again. I think I'll need some good thick pavers.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

18 August 2012

What a busy night! I woke up at 2:15, on my back, thinking it must have been around 4 at least. Ha. My mind was already starting to race so I figured I'd better head upstairs (down in the basement still, due to heat) and when I got up there decided it was a good time to start the dishwasher, as I'd forgotten to do so before retiring anyway. I actually went right back to sleep, but then woke up again around 3:30 -- again thinking it was later -- and watched TV for a bit before falling back to sleep *again*, finally slumbering until the grand old time of. . . .5:30. Which was good. For me.

The Spousal Unit was also awoken early because of a Jack.

Morning was kind of dull, although I did wash my car and finished reading Neil Peart's "Ghost Rider" book; this afternoon I wrote a review for Amazon for it as well, which was kind of therapeutic. I determined that we both went through a similar process although we came out of it. . . .differently.

We ventured all the way up to Lynnwood for an estate sale that we never found. It was supposed to have all sorts of great stuff, including swords and guns and a couple of cars. I think it must have been cancelled for some reason, the guns maybe, because there were no signs anywhere and we were definitely in the right place. Hit another couple on the way back though, and I bought a cool large Mardi Gras mask for the wall. I kind of wanted an old Sony amplifier, but I think that would have been nixed. Maybe I'll sneak back up. . . .nah, I have enough of that stuff. I need speakers!

Anyway, this afternoon I did the book review (see here) and then the usual dinner and walk. It's so nice being cool again; hardly any sun today, just low clouds and possibly some thunder tonight.

I'm leaning more heavily toward the idea these days that my "mid-life crisis" wasn't any such thing, that it was far more related to getting my degree than anything else. I think I was really feeling it shortly after that (2001) at least by 2003 when I last went to Egypt and was extremely panicky about that. Certainly it contributed to my leaving KC and job bouncing after that. It's reminded me of my earlier school years before I figured out I wanted to go to college: hated school, didn't do well, etc. Then once I got that Big Goal, I did well. Ditto in college until I decided to go to grad school. Then after I finally got that PhD after so many years, I really had no idea what to do with myself, so I drifted and that really got me down for whatever reason. Kind of a post-PhD let-down as it were. Thus far, the only new Big Goal has been "serving others" although it remains to be seen if that will suffice. So far it seems to be working at least moderately well.

Friday, August 17, 2012

17 August 2012 (Friday)

Ah, the weekend is here at last. Such a tough week this has been, what with not sleeping, cancer news, and stress. I am feeling better about Egypt today, and last night actually after a few minutes of abject panic again. I'm realizing that it truly is all in my head. At any rate, I slept until the alarm this morning and that puts a whole different, and better, spin on just about everything.

Oddly, my workout wasn't all that great. I place the blame on not enough hydration.

After the gym, I did some work for HRA, notably filling in the probe table and the site form. All this while waiting for the locksmith to arrive and tell us our stupid latch was broken, and also that a little old lady could probably kick in our front door. Had not steel plate and the screws didn't go into the studs. So, little bit of a project for this weekend. After all that, went to Target -- yes, Target -- for an eye exam and new contacts. I must admit, it was pleasant. The doc -- a young asian female -- spent a lot of time with me, we talked about different lenses that I might try (bifocals, multifocals, etc.), and then the other lady helped me with the insurance forms. Really, a much better experience than at Davis Optical. Strike another one for a big chain.

I didn't get done until after 12 so I got a Quiznos, too big of one, but it was deeeelish. Then I mostly goofed around (well for a whole 45 minutes) until going to UVil SBux to meet Finoa, as usual. Quite a nice time today, owing largely to my being well-rested and talkative. Plus lots of females to judge. After that, well, I came home, washed dishes and started the dinner routine. We walked and now I'm back after doing some watering outside -- 90s again today, supposedly thunderboomers tomorrow. I've managed to keep one primrose plant alive in the front for probably seven years now and it's my mission to keep it there. It's right under the azalea so it's shaded, but until this year it was really not very hardy -- I had to water it constantly during the dry summer. This year it's survived quite well despite no rain for all of August so far. The ones in the back aren't doing too badly either. AND we have some corn growing! Nothing we planted, I think crows or a squirrel must have done it. At any rate, maybe they'll keep going. . . . .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

16 August 2012

Hot day today, up to 94. Oddly, I'm only feeling it this evening sitting in my office typing this. Was outside working all morning, but I was wearing shorts -- shorts! -- in the field and did okay. Of course, we were in the shade mostly. As for the shorts, we were just recording a historic site in the woods and brush, so I figured I could get away with the shorts. Worked out okay, too, even though there were blackberries present. I was just pretty careful and it had mostly been cleared out anyway. Much cooler.

It was an okay day, I suppose. Couldn't get to sleep last night even with half an Ambien, and ended up sleeping upstairs. Some was the heat, other parts were stress. The father-in-law has been diagnoses with some form of cancer around the bladder -- details are sketchy -- and that plus Egypt had me kind of wound up. Still, I managed to sleep until almost 4:30 which was pretty good. Had a pretty decent workout and then went off to the field. I brought no lunch but thankfully I put in a couple of protein bars and that got me through until around 1 when Jenny -- bless her heart -- treated us to SBux for lunch (I just got a scone). Kind of a short day then. The site was kind of fun to record, especially the walls and steps I found. Neat stuff. I spent maybe an hour clearing some of it off and describing it and such. Thankfully, nothing leapt out at me from the underbrush.

This afternoon I modified my old Gille's post for Car Lust -- quick job -- and then made dinner. We walked up to the Rite Aid for hard candies despite the heat (really not that bad: 23% humidity). Am not typing too much here because I am sweating. . .. .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 August 2012

Damn it.

Woke up at 3:10 AGAIN and couldn't get back to sleep. Mind racing, formulating all sorts of horrible possibilities for Egypt. Christalmighty, I hate my own brain sometimes. So, tired. On the bright side, I drank a Diet Coke before really getting up so I had a good workout. If a tired and relatively mild one because I was in the field today.

We dug a few probes today, most of them pretty useless in glacial till (albeit easy to dig) and then in fill material. We did have a bit of excitement up by Scriber Park in Lynnwood. Although the holes were junk, we found some building foundations and various stuff. We're going back there tomorrow morning to map it all. I might wear shorts even though there are blackberries because it's supposed to be very warm. It won't be too hot in the morning but I'll have to ride the bus home and it'll be very warm then, probably afternoon. Enjoyed talking to Jenny a lot today, and drove her downtown so she wouldn't have to take the bus from Northgate. Part of my attempt to do good for other people all the time.

When I got home I mostly did dishes, but also found out from the local news that a building right across the street from Scriber Park -- where we were working -- caught fire and burned like 15 minutes after we left. Then went for a walk up by the Church and spent some time with Princess Pawly the polydactyl cat. Now I'm just going to blog this and then set up the futon downstairs where we shall sleep the next couple of days -- 94 and 96 the next two days, supposedly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

14 August 2012 (Tuesday)

Ugh, slept badly last night. Well, at least until 3:15 or so, then I couldn't get back to sleep. Probably anxiety over Egypt, but when I was awake I wasn't really thinking too much about that, mostly a lot of other junk from money to politics. I almost drifted off again, but no dice. Still, had a decent workout and then bussed downtown to do a little work at HRA. I pored over old maps to see if anything was in the project area. I drove the HRA truck home to do work tomorrow and Thursday. This one has a locking bed so at least I don't have to load and unload it every day.

For lunch I had leftover piece o' fish from Saturday and some salad which absolutely did NOT satiate me. I was scarfing down Rice Chex treats by 1:30 and potato chips later. I really need a solid lunch.

I did a bit of grave searching, but got bored easily, due to the tiredness no doubt. Otherwise, I decided to get a grip on a bunch of things like arranging for the front doorknob to be fixed (Friday), an eye appt. at Target (Friday), sending an email to Willeke about potential lectures and other items, etc. Also watered the front tree from the hose very deeply so I hope it stops losing leaves. While doing that I went down to chat with Norma and Sunni for a bit; they're a hoot to talk to. After that I did some dinner preparations (lentil salad) and did our usual evening schtick.

Warm today and getting warmer over the next couple of days. Will need lots of fluids in the field. It's me, Jenny, and. . . .some other guy. Not sure we're going to dig 12 probes, but who knows.

Monday, August 13, 2012

13 August 2012

Did NOT sleep well last night. Took forever to get to sleep, woke up in the middle of the night worrying, etc. Felt okay today though, because I managed to go back to sleep. And a great workout. I talked a bit with a woman who uses the rock climbing wall and I might try that at some point to maybe help my wrists. Didn't hurt that she's wicked hot either. . . . .

At any rate, had a Skype video call with Willeke who's running the Fayum project. Looks like the dates are Oct 10 thru Dec 8 or so -- longer than I had anticipated, and longer than I want to live in a tent. I will try to bring my own so at least have some privacy. I can't decide how to feel about it. Part of me doesn't want to leave here, and working out every day (almost) and the comforts of home and such, but part also thinks "Well, I'm not doing much here anyway, I always love doing archaeology there, and it will be a grand adventure". So, I dunno. The Spousal Unit might be coming over near the end for a vacation and graduation excursion, so I can reasonably treat the cost as part of that. I'm pretty certain that it will end up being a plus for my overall career though.

The rest of the morning I wrote more on the Calvary project document -- worked up all of the variable definitions -- before going to McD's for lunch. In the afternoon I mostly tried to match my data with the Calvary burials data and made a pretty good dent in it. I think that out of the potential 1343 monuments I have I was able to match up 844. Some of that was automatic by query, some looking up by hand, and I still have some to do. I'll get as many as I can and then leave it to them to do the rest if they wish (this has nothing to do with my analyses).

I also found out the rats are still there! Blasted little buggers found a way in/out. I think Friday I'll have to get some bricks, smoke bomb 'em again, and tightly brick up all the edges.

What else. . . . one of the local news anchors died today (Kathi Goertzen of channel 4) so they've been all over that. She was only four years older than I am. We also walked to the post office to mail cards and gift cards to Veronica (niece) and Hank & Nancy. We did UVil for a walk to pick up bagels. The old Noah's Bagels have reopened as Einstein's, which is the parent company and we saw them in Madison. Trouble is they raised prices. Spousal Unit tried making Rice Chex/Krispie Treats purple, with mixed results.

I suppose now I can start worrying about what I need to get done between now and Egypt. Christ, just what I need. . . . .

List now: Port Susan report, PH in Egypt paper (largely ready). . . .

Sunday, August 12, 2012

12 August 2012

Well, did not sleep the best last night, ended up on the couch, and only slept until 5. Eh, not bad, but wish it'd been more. I still went to Mass though, as I had a little pseudo-nap before going. Daisy let me nap next to her on the couch.

I don't recall doing much of anything else after returning from Mass except watch racing on TV and nap again. It was NASCAR at Watkins Glen: I rather like watching stock cars on a road course, even though the ovals more or less bore me. We went to Northgate for lunch and to get a couple of gift cards from B&N -- one for niece Veronica's birthday, one for Hank & Nancy for putting me up that first night and taking us to the airport -- and then went back to UVil for the usual shopping and such.

This morning, I did notice that we have been invaded yet again by rodents. My gravel-and-sand packing had been excavated in one corner and someone had taken up residence under the slab again. I showed no mercy this time and set of a smoke bomb this afternoon. I hope I didn't hear one squeak when I tossed in the mothballs they'd tossed out, that would make me feel bad. I noticed, however, that the rock wall in the back had several holes in it so they are undoubtedly in residence all through that thing as well. Fine, just stay away from the house. I think tomorrow I'll put extra rocks and junk around the slab to make sure nothing gets back in.

I continued working on the web page describing my Calvary project this afternoon. I'm finding it quite easy to write about; I actually enjoy going through everything that happened -- such as changing databases three times -- and describing the various things that I needed to consider. Hopefully, once that hits the Web it will give some other people some ideas so that they don't have to go through everything I did again. Plus, it makes a nice start to an eventual paper.

We went for the usual walk tonight, and now I'm watering the planting areas out front; we're well into the dry summer now so some watering must be done every now and then. Today it was 87 and they're predicting 90s by mid-week.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

11 August 2012 (Saturday)

4:15 PM: My GAWD, I just drank some beer! The usual 1/2 can or so of PBR, left over from pouring over the brats. It really is alarming how much I adore beer. Even years after I pretty much gave up drinking it, it's still a very visceral pleasure. It was really only 4-5 swallows -- about all I can manage anymore and not feel like crap and sleep poorly for days -- but it.was.heavenly. Curse the Fates for making it nearly poison. . . . . .

Other than that, a fairly uneventful day. Slept well, until 5:30(!) and went out for breakfast, plus I got a donut at Safeway afterwards because I knew I'd need it later (which I did). I started working on a web page describing my Calvary project, doing it in Word (bleh) first and later will convert it to HTML elsewhere. This will get my procedures out there for others to potentially use and also form a template for an eventual paper. I'm trying not to be too prosaic with it, just mainly relating the facts of how and what I did but it's proving difficult not to embellish.

Later in the morning we did a Sam's Club run and then had lunch at Ivar's. That's one Seattle thing I really like: the fish is generally far better than what we get at fish fries in Wisconsin. I think we went and got the Civic washed after that, and then stopped at Safeway for some flowers and took them to Norton Goldstein's grave -- he was our neighbor who died about a year and a half ago. Very nice man. I hope he liked them. . .and we put another stone there.

Off to the knitting store after that, where the Spousal Unit went in and I sat in the car and turned the stereo up LOUD. Hit UVil after that for dinner fixin's (brats) and some other things, not to mention a little snacker-jacker at Menchie's. Damn fine lot of eye candy (for me anyway, but I noticed a few Fiona would have liked as well). . .ahhhhh, summer in Seattle. Nothing much else at home, except that I made a decent apple cobbler. I want to go pick blackberries at some point in the next week and make another one. Just got back from our walk and I shall watch something on TV about the latest Mars landing, the Curiosity rover. I've not followed it very closely -- not by choice but lack of time -- so I want to see this. The other two, Spirit and Opportunity, fascinated me to no end, although I wish they'd come up with better names. Frankly I think something like 'Destroyer' or 'Omnibus' sound pretty good. Maybe even 'Nomad'.

Sunny all day, 83, more of the same tomorrow supposedly.

Listening to The Motels right now, pure 1980s. Never listened to it that much at the time, but I've been giving it more listens lately, as a lot of other earlier stuff.

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 August 2012

Today I went to the HRA office to work for a bit. Nearly everyone else was gone on a retreat in Missoula so only Jenny and I were there, which was nice because it was quiet and she could show me what to do without interruptions. I was looking at old maps and such. Between the gym and downtown I went to the Health Sci rotunda to scarf down my bagels and guzzle soda -- always a pleasant little place. The bus ride down was uneventful this time -- no Crazy Ladies asking me off the wall questions -- although crowded as usual, SRO. The Westlake SBux was far more crowded than usual as well, especially for a Friday.

I took the bus back in time for lunch and just had leftover burrito junk and then went off to meet Finoa/Shaniqua at UVil for our usual Friday meeting. Not too many people there until around 2:45 when the place got to buzzing (from more than caffeine). Half of the time we are judging various people on their fashion choices and checking out whatever attractive males are present (of which there are generally few).

On the way from downtown I was reading Neil Peart's Ghost Rider and he quoted a short bit from something called "Desiderata", which I'd never heard of before, but the quote snippet struck me: "Go placidly amid the noise and haste. . . . ."

That has been something of my unspoken goal since coming back from Wisconsin and I've actually been able to follow it to a certain extent since; oddly, especially at the gym. While working out I've been getting quite calm and unstressed and it's been carrying over into the rest of the day. It certainly is something to strive for.

It turns out this bit of advice comes from Max Ehrman's poem called (not coincidentally) Desiderata, which he wrote in or before 1920. The full line is "Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence." The longer version can be found at this link, which I reproduce below. Interestingly, I had come across another of Ehrman's works in an old poetry book I bought at an estate sale and very much loved at the time. That one was called "A Prayer" and, while a bit dated (more so than the one below), it is still quite. . . .true.



Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

9 August 2012

Excellent day today. Started out by sleeping through the night in the bed and then had a really good workout. The one blemish to that point was that I'd forgotten to bring the forms I was going downtown to enter. So, had to ride the bus back home after a shortened workout. Then it was off to HRA, where I entered all of our probe data (fixing a couple of errors along the way) and thence to Harborview to see Christine of Global Health to go over some of my cemetery data. She also thought it was a great idea for me to work on some minor research projects and perhaps get affiliated through them. Lunch with Lisa -- who is resigning at King County, again -- and that was quite nice. Happily, I got pretty lucky with the busses on the way back and snagged a 65 right after getting off in the UDist.

Kind of boring after that, although the former neighbor girl came by a couple doors down with a couple of friends to check out the boys' new dog -- I note this only because she's growing so fast, I hardly recognized her! I.Am.Old. She's turning into a perfectly lovely young lady, too, despite her apparent jock-ness. Good for her.

We went to UVil to get my ABX prescription refilled and -- the next great thing -- I used this card the <s>quack</s> doc gave me and that sucker saved me $65! The first time I got this junk it was $75, but from now on it's only $10. Yeah, baby.

And the weather was just about perfect: mostly sunny, around 74. I am treasuring today.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8 August, 2012 (Wednesday)

For some reason, I've been thinking it's a day or two later all week.

So last night Jack woke me up shortly after going to sleep and I thought he might settle down if I went to the other room, which he did. . . .right next to me. Stayed there the whole night (well, until 4) pinning me against the back of the couch. I must have woke up 6 times to roll over in my little confined space. But he stayed there, and at 4 I was really thinking it was later, but no. So the day did not start all that well.

Had a good workout though, and although I may be wishfully thinking, a superhottie at the gym may have been checking me out. Probably the morose appearance I have these days. I hope anyway. At any rate, went to work, just me and Jenny today and we went to two areas and dug three holes. Done by 11:30 with that, and then dropped off stuff at the barricade place by our old apartment. I bought a new cheap orange vest and safety glasses (around $7 each). The vest is smaller than my other one and fits closer so less restricting. Jenny thinks Brent will offer to take me on full time as a project manager soon, but I'm not counting my chickens.

I took the truck back to Ballard and one of their guys drove me back home and had a nice little talk about this and that. I'm a bit more inclined to buy a vehicle from Enterprise now, and the Cherokee they have now is decent and a reasonable price. So, we'll see. Need to figure something out with the Mustang though.

Otherwise, I came home, blogged some, and bought a copy of Microsoft Orifice for $10 through UW. Will have to make sure I get affiliate status now! I'm going to talk to global health about moving over there tomorrow. I'd like to keep ties with public health and they are probably my best shot for assisting in interesting and worthwhile research. We went for a walk and. . . .

Oh, two big news items: First, I got the Calvary database! That mostly means I can link my data to theirs for. . . .well, some reason. At least I can provide them with whatever data I have for each person in their data and hopefully it will be of some use to them.

Second, the Museum of History and Industry accepted the diary I sent them -- Lillie May's which started this whole thing off -- so it will be in safe keeping for a while. I'm glad of that. Lillie May has grown on me, but I don't think I'd end up being a good custodian of the diary; it would probably end up sitting on my shelf until my estate sale and potentially end up in the trash, unwanted. Mission accomplished. Thanks, Lillie.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7 August 2012 (Tuesday)

Short entry, had our Night Out: a block party to get acquainted with neighbors. Met a few new people this year. It's 8:15 now, hence the short entry.

Slept well last night, bad day in the field, meaning a bunch of boring holes next to the freeway and nothing in them except hard fill. I tried the auger in a couple of holes just to see how far down I could get, but nothing interesting. Short day tomorrow, but it's just me and Jenny so that will be nice. Of course, then I'll be unemployed again. . . . .


Monday, August 6, 2012

31 July 2012

[Note: out of order, somehow never got published initially]

Hallelujah! Something occurred last night that has not happened in probably two years: I spent the entire night in the bed. I probably noted this in a previous post, but for the last couple of years I've been getting out of bed every night to go sleep in the other room. But last night I actually went to bed and woke up in the same room. It felt like forever. Honestly, I couldn't imagine how I could still be in bed after so long, and was starting to worry that the alarm had not gone off properly. Wow.

Well, at any rate, I had a very good workout this morning and came home for the usual stuff and started looking over the Calvary data. It looks okay, but I decided I need to go out again tomorrow (and maybe again) to grab some more data from beyond 1919. If I want to make a decent case for detecting the 1918 influenza pandemic, I'll need more data from after 1918 than I have. Shouldn't take too long, I'm just collecting basic data.

The War of the Rats continues. When I got home I covered up their main hole to see if they'd vacated, but this afternoon it had been opened up again. I grabbed one of my gas bombs, had the fuse in and the lighter in my hand when I noticed another hole close by. I think the little buggers had been shoving the mothballs around, too. So I closed up that hole, stuffed some more mothballs in, and decided to give them another day to vamoose. We saw one in the front yard this evening so maybe they're trying to relocate.

This morning I went to Cascadia to get checks, stopped at Ace to get a new tape measure, and then came home and worked a bit until lunch. I decided to go to UVil for lunch since I'd be eating sandwiches by the freeway the rest of the week, saw "Liz" the waitron unit at the Italian place -- she's going to be a senior this fall! -- and then did a bit of shopping for mothballs and dinner material (pork tenderloin and brussels sprouts). Later found out fieldwork is delayed until Thursday.

Oh yeah, got an email saying Egypt will go ahead. Grrr. No Rush concert AGAIN this year.

And a bird pooped on my shoulder on our walk. The Argentines say this is a sign of good luck. I hope so.

And one last item: I found out after last night's post that Myra the neighbor cat had died. That makes me sad, though it was expected. She was 18-19 and was looking very frail the last time I saw her right before leaving on vacation. She only started being friendly with us the last year or so, and she was a sweet little cat in reality -- we'd called her "the little bitch" because she liked to harass out cats through the window. I still catch myself looking over to their house when I leave ours to see if she's looking over here and starting to trot over for some treats. She had a good passing (something I had prayed for), being put down at the vet's with her family around, and a very good life for a cat.

6 August 2012

Okay, so what the first thing I heard this morning?

"[Spouse's name]. . . . ."

"WHAT?"

Since it was so hot yesterday we put the futon on the basement floor (it's finished) to sleep down there, in some part to get the cats down there where it's cooler. Well. At some point shortly after retiring Jack walked across me and started meowing. I decided to get up and go upstairs so maybe he'd settle down. Well. He didn't. Apparently, he was so excited by the change that he was up half the night roaming around and making noise and making sure the Spousal Unit knew that he was very interested in this new thing. Hence, little sleep for either.

Not me, of course, I slept mostly like a log.

Had a fabu workout in my new Green Bay cutoff t-shirt. . . .that seems to fit rather snugly. Oddly, I got some looks from a couple of the honeys at the gym so I guess I'll make sure to wear that one often. . . .

Slow start to the work day, S. was a bit late getting there (as usual) and then we had to diddle around with a WSDOT guy who was going to locate utility lines and such. Ended up digging some holes though, and several were right along I5. Ugh. Noisy. And our first one was hard as a rock and at 58 cm we hit concrete. What a useless hole. And then when I got home and started unloading the truck I discovered that a spray paint can had emptied itself in the back of the truck. So I had to clean that up in addition to unloading it. The weather cooperated though, it was cloudy until about 1:30 which made digging pleasant.

We went for a normal walk tonight, and should sleep upstairs. Hopefully Jack will be settled.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

5 August 2012

Very warm today, 93 high. At this moment I am listening to the new LP I bought of the Doobie Brothers. Yes, finally. Dunno which one it is, but it's one of the softer ones (Minute by Minute?). But I've been kind of meaning to buy one and they had this LP for $1 at an estate sale. Mint condition, too, no pops or crackles so far.

Spent last night in the TV room as I couldn't get to sleep, but I slept in until almost 5:30! Consequently, I went to Mass. We also made pancakes for breakfast; for some reason, at mom's they were just not nearly as good. Not as fluffy. Mass was okay, Fr. Oliver was back. I came home expecting to watch the Mars lander at 10:30 but I was mistaken and it's at 10:30 tonight, darn it.

We went over to the east side to an estate sale in Blahvue. Man oh man, something in that house smelled, whether it was the house itself or some person in it, but it was rather overwhelming. I snagged several CDs, including a Jimmy Buffett I'd not heard of before and some solo piano ones, two of which I already had. Then we went up to Woodinville for lunch and shopping, including snagging some plastic shopping bags! I feel like such a scofflaw. Had lunch at Panera -- okay, nothing exciting (but good baguette) -- and then walked over to a BoA ATM and saw an Ezell's chicken which will be our next stop up there. Also went to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream.

We took 522 (Lake City Way) back to further avoid the 520 toll bridge, which I think is almost two years since I've crossed it. The Spouse stayed home while I went to an estate sale thingie -- they hold them in their own property near UVil -- whence I bought the Doobie LP. After that, well, hung out at home and tried to stay reasonably cool. I cooked up all of the chicken breasts as souvlaki, and also some veggies in foil -- all on the grill. The thermometer out there read 102, but it's under the patio in some sun so even though it was very warm, that wasn't the real outside temp. Just got back from our walk.

I was going to write something here that I thought of this morning. . . . .

At any rate, we're setting up the futon mattress to sleep downstairs tonight -- too warm upstairs, although I'll probably end up in the TV room again.

Well, the rats seem to have been snuffed out, the hole was not there this morning. I still feel bad about killing them. I don't have a thing about rats or mice, so I don't go all ick on them. At Mass I asked forgiveness anyway.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

4 August 2012 (Saturday)

No sleeping in the bed all night. =( I think I may have gone to sleep for a while but ended up having to have a date with Miss Ambien and slept in the TV room all night. Until almost 5 so the day at least started out okay. We went to Burgermaster for breakfast because I was dying for an order of their sausage. We had a hair appt. at 10:30 so I didn't do a whole lot this morning.

After the hair chopping, we went to an estate sale over by Green Lake -- it was at the house of a very liberal hoarder who appears never to have thrown away very much. Nothing really good, although the Spouse bought a little Hawaiin Hello Kitty ("Aroha Kitty") and I got a CD. Then we went to Northgate for lunch because it would be cooler. After that. . . . .hmmmmm. Went to UVil to get whatever we needed for dinner (nothing), get a snack (Me: hot chocolate, Spouse: Menchie's yogurt) and attempt to find an octopus power strip, and then stood on the top of the parking garage to watch the Blue Angels. Saw them a bit, but nothing special.

After that, we came home and I bombed the rat hole again since they either didn't all die or one took up residence afterwards. Hate to snuff them like that, but. . . . .

Vegged out for the most part, dinner was mostly leftovers and then I picked up the MacBook Air at the Apple store. I am finding I have a good opinion of Apple, although that suggests that I had a bad opinion of them before: not really true. Mostly I've always kind of hated Mac people. They're just so fracking smug about their stupid computers. Still, the hinge was broken on this one, and they repaired it for their flat-rate out-of-warranty rate of $280. But they also replaced the motherboard, hard drive, and a bunch of other items. So I mostly have a new computer here. Good for them, and happy day for me. As I type this I am setting it up. I plan on only using it for working off-site, either at work or while traveling. Although the stupid thing still has it named as "Barbara Cagle's Computer" which I have not yet learned out to change. . . .

Very warm today, in the 90s which we hear it hasn't been since 2010.

Friday, August 3, 2012

3 August 2012

A good and bad day today, though mostly good. Started off great by sleeping in the bed the entire night once again -- that's twice in a row. And a good workout was had. Work was okay, I started on time when the other two were late (due to monitoring emergencies) and I went over to start a shovel probe. We kind of wasted much of the morning at the sign/barrier place near where we used to live (on 65th and Ravenna) to get some signs for the road where we're working. After that we went up to near Alderwood to scope out another place and do a little survey. Finally, we went back and I did another probe while the other two went to ostensibly do another two but they were unable to get over the fence and they came back and we did a walking survey next to I5 instead.

And then I came home. And wiped out the rats. They'd still been getting in and out so I finally set off the smoke grenade to do them in. Admittedly it was kinda neat, I think it worked like a model rocket engine but spewed out some sort of poison gas. I really felt bad about that. . . .but I tried to get them to just move out. I said a little prayer for them anyway, poor little things, just trying to make a living.

We went for a walk and are now back. I watered the new tree out front which has lost another branch, darn it. I'm going to make sure to dump at least a couple of gallons on it every day for the next few weeks, especially since it's warm and dry now.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2 August 2012

Once again I have managed to stay in the bed the entire night. Twice in two years! Well, not counting while in Wisconsin. I'm hoping I'm over that phase.

Found out yesterday that we don't start until 9 on this project so I worked out and then took the bus downtown. Hay caramba. FIrst I had to drag my huge backpack full of stuff to the gym, then get on a full bus. Oh, and even better, a crazy lady came up to while I was waiting to get on the bus and said "Are you aware of what you're doing?" Luckily I was well-rested and said "Why yes, I'm fully awake and extremely cognizant of the fact that I am about to step on this bus." She seemed to have someone else controlling her mouth sometimes.

Anyway, kind of a waste of a day. Shari had problems getting the truck rented so she didn't even get to the office until like 10:30, while I got in at 8:15. Jenny -- I like Jenny -- had me do some background stuff for it while I was waiting, so that was nice. The head of the archaeology group introduced me to the company owner, and I found out later he (the head) is very interested in having me do more work for them at a higher level. Good news, so after Egypt and perhaps while at Global Health, I shall have more regular work.

We ended up not getting going until almost 12:30 and did mostly nothing, except drive around a lot. We were supposed to stop working at 3 but. . . well, long story short we drove from 2:45 until getting downtown at 4:30. Did not dig a single hole. Some tomorrow, but probably not much. Still, at least it's a fairly easy schedule.

So I didn't get home until almost 5, but hopefully tomorrow will be an earlier day. We just walked up to the QFC to get bread for our walk, after I unloaded the truck. Rats still here. Must give the cats attention tonight because they were alone all day and also tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1 August 2012 (Wednesday)

Drat! Did not make it through the night in the bed. Oh well, at least until 2:30-3:30. Of course, I immediately started worrying about going to Egypt which will probably happen in 60+ days. Primarily I got all hyper about the Macbook -- it has a busted hinge -- and whether I could get it fixed in time, whether I could afford it, etc. (see below) Still, I did go back to sleep so today wasn't too bad.

Fabulous workout, chatted with a new female a bit (it's rare for me to talk to anyone at the gym), and then came home and fiddled with the Calvary data for a while. I decided it would be useless for me to go out and collect more 1920+ data since the two sets would be incomparable: one is a tabulation of all existing monuments, the other would be a sample. Instead, I did that, wrote up a quick Car Lust post on Rosie's Chevette, and then had to run to Sam's Club for ink for the printer: my hire letter for HRA got sent over and I needed to print, sign, scan, and return it. $60! They've made me an "archaeological crew chief" so that's good. We start tomorrow at 8:30 so I can still hit the gym. Yay! Go me.

This afternoon I went to meet Fiona at the UVil SBux and had made a reservation at the Apple store to have the Air looked at. The guy this time said it could be repaired for $280 rather than the $5-600 the first guy told me. This one said that, even though it's got some dings in the case, he recommended that they were unrelated to the hinge and that the shop would probably agree. So, hopefully I will have a like-new Macbook Air in a week or so. I like that thing although I only use it while traveling anymore.

This morning I also spent some time applying for a British Museum position. Eh, not a snowball's chance in hell, but whatever.

The Spouse was late getting home due to a chemical spill on I5 so we ate late, and then walked to the Metropolitan Market for her lunch for tomorrow. Otherwise, nice sunny day.

Oh, rats are still there, but perhaps in smaller numbers. I'm going to try some more mothballs before nuking them.