Tuesday, November 27, 2012

27 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

So.

Tired.

*yawn*

Monday, November 26, 2012

26 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

25 November 2012 (Sunday)

Long. Day. 

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

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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

24 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

23 November 2012 (Friday)

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

22 November 2012

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

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

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

Write this next bit up earlier this evening:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21 November 2012

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

20 November 2012 (Tuesday)

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

19 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

18 November 2012

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

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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

15 November 2012

[Apparently didn't post on the 15th]

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

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

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

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

17 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 16, 2012

16 November 2012 (Friday)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

14 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13 November 2012

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 November 2012 (Monday)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

10 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

11 November 2012

(*&@(*^@)!!! Awake at 3:30 AGAIN. Why would I be stressed about anything? Well, admittedly this place can be a little stressful. But it's been fine sleeping weather and nothing in particular has been bothering me. Perhaps I'm just used to the place. *sigh*

Anyway. The usual stuff today, just moving a lot of sand. We got the entire drain line uncovered all the way to the basin and, indeed, nearly all of the covering bricks have been removed. I think there are four in total remaining. On top of that, the 1975 photos also showed a line of bricks for another drain line in the Annex and those have since disappeared as well. Huh? Why would anyone take those bricks? I haven't seen them around the area either. Made another nasty discovery: the big wall on the other side of the drain line is undercut at one end and today I noticed two significant cracks farther back separating in the direction of the undercut, so that one is in danger of collapsing anytime as well. Place is falling apart, the entire site needs to be covered in sand again.

We had a nice group of students come through, asked a lot of good questions and had some comments as well. Dutch or Polish or something, I forget. Nasser was back to his old ways today, sitting around a lot. Last Thursday he was working really hard, but today I had to shoo him off of walls twice. And when I got back from breakfast he was fast asleep. . .and snoring! I have a feeling he stays up late at night.

I showered before lunch today even though I probably didn't have time -- three people were late getting in and I thought they'd hold lunch for them, but they were already eating when I got out. I didn't mind though, it was nice to shower right away.

Angela was very chatty this afternoon, that was pleasant. I think if I had to be stuck on a desert island with someone it would be. . . . well, Rachel. Maybe Dan, he'd be a riot. But Angela would be a close third!

Not too hot today actually very pleasant. Had to wear my sweatshirt for the first hour or so. My new shirt was a hoot. It's quite close-fitting but it's probably got spandex in it because it wasn't uncomfortable at all. Probably makes me look gayer'n a tree full of parrots though. I have to wash it by hand because I hear tell they're very sensitive to rough washing. I think I might keep it after all.

Friday, November 9, 2012

9 November 2012

Missed a day due to a late night last night. I woke up at 3 am Thursday (today is Friday) which wasn't great. But I had a good day in the field, working alone for a while and then with Nasser ('the fat one'). I had been worried that I'd cut through old sediments to find the drainage channel but after a while of steady troweling and making a nice virgin cut above one section I determined that, indeed, most of the bricks covering the channel has been removed and what was on top was just a very compact fill layer. After I had that clarified, I also found the drain outlet and figured out how the drain worked: two raised portions creating a U-shaped channel with the square bricks over it as a cap.

After Nasser came over we started removing sand to find the actual wastewater tank. Everyone had been saying how lazy he was but he worked quite hard with me. We're thinking maybe he just doesn't like taking direction from women (or Dan, heh). He dug steadily, and stopped when he found fired brick and carefully removed sand to uncover them and seemed quite pleased with himself for doing so. We continued for a while and then started working our way back down the channel line and found a large rock or threshold where one shouldn't be. A couple of other guys came over and we had a good time. Taught little Ibrahim how to play air guitar to Led Zeppelin and then how to say various women were 'hot', ie., 'har', so we had fun with 'Rachel harrrr" and 'Kathryn harrrr', etc.

After that we all packed in the Land Cruiser and went to Cairo. It was going to be just five of us but then the Alexandria trip was cancelled so most of them piled in with us. Met Richard at the villa and he looks great. Older yes, but still energetic, in fine shape, and still going strong. We went to Mena House bar and then wandered over to a local cafe for dinner and found Sebastien and Nathalie there. I made a big oops and never made the connection between Sebastien and Richard and U Michigan, so they knew each other and both of them could have stayed at the villa as well. Oh well, too many 3-4 am mornings, I guess.

I slept fabulously well last night, until 5:30 this morning. The shower was awesome as well, even though mine didn't work and I had to go upstairs. Was going to meet the other two at the pyramids, but they didn't show up by 8:30 so I wandered around by myself for 3 hours. Wasn't too bad when I was in the back by myself, but the people were very annoying today. Usually they mostly let me alone but not today. One jerk even got in my face and demanded to see my ticket, even grabbing my arm in the process. Said he was with 'security' but I just told him "No you're not, now get away from me" and he left. Jackass.

I walked back to the villa after buying a Pepsi, did some email and such outside, and then went to Fel Fela's for a bit of lunch. Then snagged a taxi to Dandy Mall and had.a.great.time. I perused around for a bit, and bought some contact lens stuff, and then just sat in the Starbucks with a mocha and WiFi and relaxed. This is what I wrote elsewhere while sitting there:

I don't care what "they" say, one can find peace at a shopping mall. After spending a month in the field with nothing nearby except farms and villages and sheep and goats, sitting here in a suburban mall Starbucks, I am as relaxed and content as can be. I like watching the shoppers go about their business, kids running and having fun, the Starbucks barista clearing off tables between orders, and commerce happening all around. And here I sit in my little oasis, warm chocolate chip muffin and mug of water and iPad whiling away a couple of hours. Civilization is way underrated. Let the granola-heads don their hair shirts and eat certified organic nuts and twigs and leave me to enjoy a warm mocha in a corner watching a lot of pretty happy-looking people enjoy being around one another. 
Also had a chocolate chip muffin that was a little stale but a nice pseudo-lunch. I think I'll go back to Fel Fela's in a while for another sandwich. Even the cab ride home was uneventful, though I got my picture taken with. . . . .Barney the Purple Dinosaur!

As I type this I'm in the yard of the villa at a nice table surrounded by orange trees, mango trees, flowers, grass, and happy dogs and cats. Blasted flies are frickin' pesky though. It's actually a bit cooler today, though it seemed very warm while at the 'mids.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

7 November 2012

Ah, election day. I got up at 4 so I could eat and be sitting at my computer while they tracked the returns. Seems everyone here is a hard-core Democrat or they're hiding it very well. Interestingly, they all assume that everyone here is as well. Well, not so interestingly, academics tend to be fairly well cocooned. They're having a celebration party tonight. Me, seems like celebrating plague over cholera.

So I'm tired, in part due to that but also because I was alone in my trench most of the day and worked very hard. Not only because I was carrying all of my own baskets, but I just did a lot while alone. I think also my guts ot other internals may have been somewhat down most of the time I've been here so far, and they may have finally turned a corner as I was . . . . well, weeing several times this morning. Or maybe it was just cool today. Or maybe I've just finally gotten down to business, I don't know. I was contemplating leaving early today. There is little paperwork, save for the report at the end, for this trench, so theoretically I should be done earlier than normal. I plan on writing a fairly extensive and detailed report, however, so it might not take away too much time. We'll see.

What I did today was try to find the drainage channel to the wastewater pit. I had expected to find it easily, but we kept finding only busted up bits of brick and sand. After the guys left, I spent an hour or so just troweling around until I stumbled on something and that panned out, and then stumbled on another line and that kept going, and then another right next to it. Farther north than the map indicated, but still good. But the photos from 1975 show a brick thing, not two lines or maybe pipes. Hmmmm. There were no bricks above them, I know that (fired or otherwise), and I'm sure the junk I was digging through was fill because there was trash in it. So I don't know. Will have to look it over again tomorrow. I think that they put fill over the drain lines and then let sand over them, but where are the brick coverings?

Also moved a bunch of sand in the back and found the steps leading down from the clean water basin to the boiler area. Actually stubs of steps, they're mostly gone.

Upon returning I helped empty all the vehicles before washing up, and then sat with Hammam and Natalie et al. at the other table, just for a change. Oh, for breakfast in the field I just ate a yogurt and a cheese sandwich and then headed out again. I was on a mission today.

After lunch I spent most of the time looking over the French thing again and still confused as to how the hot water system worked. Again, I think that the two openings were for large ceramic vessels that heated the water and then said water was decanted into the tub and thence to the caldarium tub. There was no mention of piping bringing it up. Then we just did meeting, I skipped dinner, then will get my Cairo stuff together and hit the hay. I do get a tentmate at some point, but only for a few days (like 5) so no big deal, and I shall be a gracious host for that time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

6 November 2012 (Tuesday)

Not a bad day, overall. I woke up a lot last night, maybe a bit more than usual, but slept until a little after 4. There was cake for breakfast (!!!) so that was good, although I probably ate a bit too much sugar as by 8:30 I was getting hungry and lagging in energy. The day at the site was kind of humdrum, just moving sand with only two guys and me continuing with the tepidarium. Well, strike the humdrum part: I noticed yesterday that the roof collapse in one area looked kind of intact, so this morning I cleaned it all off carefully and got a nice-looking collapse that I photographed. Only one small area really looks nice, but tomorrow I'll spend some time in another area quite close by that is similarly kind of intact. Ish. Will save for Thursday's site tour so others can look. I helped a bit with the entry area clearing, photographed our big rock -- and named it the Rock of Unknown Origin -- and then, well, mostly just piddled around. Tomorrow I'll just work over by the clean water tank area while the guys clean out the wastewater area. Or maybe clean the back wall. Or something. I should bring my headphones out there tomorrow. . . . .

No water for a while this afternoon when I wanted to shower, and I was looking at not bathing at all today -- eek! -- but it came back around 5:30 so I jumped in quick. Hope I can still sleep tonight. Haven't inquired yet about TL dates for fired brick in the bath yet.

I wore my glasses today to the site because when I put the left one in this morning it hurt like the dickens due to crud left on it. I may wear them the rest of this week and when/if I get new saline solution Friday try rinsing them out thoroughly and see if that works. Otherwise, I'll not wear them again until I am inside mostly or outside where there isn't sand and dust flying everywhere. Funny, I never really had this problem before, although I never worked around quite this much fine blowing sand.

Otherwise, election stuff flying around. Really, I'd be insanely happy if I didn't even find out who wins until I got home. Alas, no, they will all be gathered around the computer at 5 tomorrow to find out. Maybe I'll get up at 4 and be cleared out by 5. . . .

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 November 2012

On this day I arose from a fitful night of sleep. Couldn't get to sleep for a long time, woke up in the middle of the night (but did, in fact, go back to sleep relatively quickly), and then kept waking up. Finally cashed in at 4:17 and got up. Sadly, there was no cake for breakfast. =( A guy can get used to that. But we made it out to the site okay, and we had a good day in the trench.

Before moving on, it actually rained some last night. I could hear it on my tent for some time and it was heavy enough that I moved all of the stuff away from the walls of the tent in case it rained hard. . . which it didn't but that was one less thing for me to worry about.

At any rate, in the trench, we just continued in the first room, also called the apodyterium (a word I just can't seem to remember), with the workmen doing nearly everything in there while I continued in the tepidarium. It's slow going in there because it's mostly collapsed wall and ceiling. Nothing to be found, although I did keep bringing out sherds that all seemed to be from a single vessel, though how it got there I don't know (I suspect chinking since they were distributed widely). The biggest problem was what to do with the bricks and fragments I was pulling out since they were piling up. I eventually decided to move them out and created something of a wall with the more complete ones and dumped the fragments inside. I was calling it The Thousand Year Wall, which the workmen found amusing (one of them said they would someday sell tickets to see it). (he also later called me Ibn Khufu, or Son of Khufu, heh)

No real surprises, though we did find one big rock in the middle of the apodyterium where one wasn't supposed to be. We were looking at the photos trying to track down where it came from but no luck so far. Willeke stopped by and seemed pleased with the progress.

This afternoon I was rather beat so I just did the usual emails and ArchaeoBlog and Facebooking and then went to my tent to read a while. I felt a bit guilty because a bunch of the others were working on their trenches while I wasn't, but I worked all day Friday anyway. I was also able to download a couple more papers on Roman baths so I'll have something to compare ours to. Note to self: Try to get elevations of all the rooms at some point to check on drainage patterns.


Giza seems set for Thursday, four of us will be going so I won't have to pay for a ride there. . .cheap weekend! I should make a list of what I need to get at Carfours: Tinactin stuff, peanut butter, saline solution (need to use a lot to get the crud outta my lenses), maybe another towel. Protein bars? Whatever, I'll just buy whatever strikes my fancy. Hopefully Mark Lehner will be there and he can give me stuff to do at Giza for him.

That was weird, Angela just left our office and turned off the light. Harumph. Interestingly, I think my screen here dims a bit due to the lower light. Actually, I'm just continuing to type because the keyboard lights up, too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

4 November 2012 (Sunday)

I seem to have lost yesterday's post. I vaguely recall writing one, but maybe I'm just imagining it.

I am going to have a bruise on my right leg the size of Cleveland. Not because a stone lintel fell on me. Not because a workman swung the grub hoe and accidentally hit me. Not even because I rescued a crew of stewardesses on runaway horses. No, I walked into a short wall on the roof of the dig house. Grrrr.

Yesterday (Saturday) I spent most of the day going through the French report again and looked more deeply into the dating they did, which wasn't very much. They did three C14 dates but those were all over the place, and they didn't really do any artifact analysis apart from noting some Byzantine coins that indicated it was used quite late. But no indication when it (the bath) was built. So, harumph. Apart from that, a fairly relaxing day spent on paperwork and reading and such.

Today was tiring. Not for any good reason, just tiring. Slept okay. Up at 4:30, breakfast was decent, and out to the field. We started cleaning out the hot water tank in the back and the front courtyard, which has a Latin name that escapes me right now, and I mostly worked clearing the tepidarium. That was actually quit difficult as it was chock full o' fallen fired brick which I believe is a combination of a stubby wall and (mostly) the vaulted roof that was in the 1975 photos. Half a roof really, but still a good lot of brick. Massaoud took over in the afternoon. The workers were getting kind of uppity. . .well, let's say whiny. . . .later in the day, mainly because it was windy and everyone had sand in their eyes. I think the rest of the crews will be stealing my workers back so we probably won't be progressing as quickly as I was thinking we would today. Fine by me, more time digging there, less time surveying out in the desert.

I got back to the museum slightly after two and they'd already left so we had to wait for probably 20-25 minutes for a ride home, not what I needed today, but I will make sure to be there on time tomorrow.

It sprinkled again! Up on the roof about an hour ago. Not really "rain" but at least a tiny bit of precipitation. I hope this is a sign of cooler weather.

Other people are going to Cairo this weekend so I should have a ride. Will be nice to have my own room again and a private shower, this time with the hot water from the water heater I shall remember to turn on. Grrrr. Oh, and breakfast at the Mena House! Lawdy, but that was good.

Friday, November 2, 2012

2 November 2012

Our weekend. Friday. The day I get to sleep in (actually one of two days, I guess). Until. . .oh, about 5 or 5:15. Eh, the usual. Wild party last night or so I heard. I left around 8:45 and probably turned out the light around 9:30. I awoke some time later to hear the singing of Total Eclipse of the Heart. Apparently it went on until the wee hours of the morning so fun was had by, if not all, at least a decent portion of the group. Costumes were interesting. Natalie looked quite fetching as a. . . .well, something vaguely Egyptian, but she had makeup on and looked quite girly (of which she is one, of course). Rachel was the Queen of Punt in front and Hatchepsut in back, but that went away fairly early as it proved to be a hot (as in temperature) outfit. Sayid was cute as a robot. 67 wore a toga. Wish I'd been a little more enthusiastic, but I was tired and had wonky guts so I was fine sitting with my Diet 7-Up. Yeah, lame-o.

Today was nice. I was up first (except for Rune briefly) and went Internetting with a cup of tea for a while in the quiet of the house, getting very chatty on email. After the larger group left for Saqqara -- after jump-starting the truck with home-made cables -- I settled into the dining room with my computer and French bath house (that sounds oh-so-bad) book. Ran into trouble right away, as Bing Translator would not acknowledge that, despite my being in Egypt, would prefer to have things displayed IN ENGLISH. I thought it was Firefox at first, and was unable to change the location setting for somewhere else. Turned out that, true to form, it was Microsoft's problem, and Bing would simply not give me any option of getting off of the Arabic sites. It still seems unbelievable to me how such an incompetent company could be so successful commercially. The flies didn't help matters either, I think they were out to get me this morning. All day, really.

We had duck for lunch, my first time. I would have passed, but I supposed I should try it. Eh, not something I'll try again, especially as I like ducks. The kitten shared some with me, albeit outside. He's doing okay, I think. Kind of half-feral. He seems to like being around people, at least he seeks us out in some sense or at least doesn't mind if people are around, but still won't let anyone near him/her. I really wish him/her well.

So, most of the day I spent with the French article and made decent progress. Mostly I examined the photos and plans in detail so I would have a good idea spatially of where things were. It helped a great deal. Kind of saddening as it really has deteriorated since then. Many of the walls were nearly fully plastered and now there is very little remaining, probably less than 5% of what was there in 1975. It would be interesting to take a sediment sample of the sand in the tepidarium and see how much of it is actually decomposed plaster.

I stopped around 3, took a shower, and just read until about 6, mostly up on the roof. Then people started drifting up and we got to chatting. Saqqara people got back around 6:30. Dinner was some sort of ground chicken thing (or might have been eggs) which was actually quite tasty. The wind picked up around 5 and right now it's quite windy and just barely on the cusp of being chilly, but still shirtsleeves weather. Should be a good night, climate-wise, for sleeping. Car horns start around 3:30 though due to the cattle market. Guts seem to have settled down perhaps thanks to a cipro this morning. All in all, a nice, relaxing, but still productive day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1 November 2012

Happy Halloween! One day late. Well, for us it's the Halloween party. I, however, am only peripherally participating due to a bit of intestinal distress I suffered earlier in the evening, to wit. . . .well, a series of three -- or was it four? -- 'fuel dumps over the ocean' as it were. Or, as Dan calls it, a 'poonami'. Ergh Well, not a big deal, I calmly went to the bathroom, did my thing, came back out (and back in, and back out, etc.). On top of that I have been 'Racheled' twice today! That is, have had a bite swarm in two spots of my body: upper right leg and lower right arm. Combined with another swarm yesterday and I am back in the swing of the bug thing. When I put on my 'costume' later I shall slather myself with Nivea lotion in hopes that the little varmints vamoos due to the overly fragrant elixir. Well, I can hope anyway. We call it being 'Racheled' because she has been the one getting all of the big masses of bites.

Woke up at 3 or before this morning and didn't go back to sleep. Not from worry, I just woke up, although I was brainstorming what I should do in the bath house. Mainly that I should write a good report on the deterioration present since the 1970s and all else that may go wrong with it in the near future. That seems like it would be very useful and perhaps even publishable in some form.

Halfway decent day at the bath house although I had to come up with something to occupy the workmen because they all came to my trench (#29 these days: I'm official!). We ended up clearing out two rooms on the east side and found in Room 7 (the Annex) that the floor seemed an awful long way down, and then we went down further in Room 8 (the Heater room) and found more wall. Checking the old photos (hey! They're from my youth, damn it!) we expected to find a couple of openings and we did. Neat thing is, it means the structure goes down another floor below the ground surface. Kind of a big structure. We all did a trench tour where we all say something about our trenches, but we spent so much time at the granary that I didn't get much. =(

But. . . .showers again! And even hot ones! Although I was turning the hot the wrong way and had a mostly cold one, until I figured it out. Blehh. I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow when I can just hang out for the day. I plan on walking down to the bodega for some Cola, but mostly just researching Roman baths and specifically the Karanis one. And reading. And hopefully no more fuel dumps. . . .

My 'costume', such as it is, is simply my galabeya and skull cap. Meh. Too tired to bother much. I also let my beard grow for 3-4 days and have shaved off the mustache part; you can't really tell because it's not long enough nor dark enough to really notice. I wonder if I'm hotter with scruff on my face? Can't tell from this crowd. I shan't keep it though, I really don't like this whole beardedness. How did I ever have one for 5 years????