Monday, December 31, 2012

31 December 2012

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

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

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

30 December 2012 (Sunday)

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

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

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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

29 December 2012

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

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

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

Gawd, it's wicked fun to drive though.

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

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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

27 December 2012

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

26 December 2012 (Wednesday)

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

23 December 2012 (Sunday)

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

22 December 2012

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 21, 2012

21 December 2012

Yeah, Maya Apocalypse day. Nothing happened.

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

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

Showers, but sunny this afternoon and rather pleasant.

Quick entry because I need to watch football!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

20 December 2012

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

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

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

So there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

19 December 2012

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

18 December 2012 (Tuesday)

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

17 December 2012

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

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

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

Sunday, December 16, 2012

16 December 2012

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

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

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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

15 December 2012

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

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

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

Nothing going now except hoping I sleep properly tonight.

Friday, December 14, 2012

14 December 2012 (Friday)

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 December 2012

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 December 2012 (12-12-12!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

11 DEcember 2012

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

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

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

I did the paperwork for my affiliate status, too.

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

Monday, December 10, 2012

10 December 2012 (Monday)

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

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

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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

8 December 2012

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

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

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

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

9 December 2012

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

Friday, December 7, 2012

7 December 2012

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

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

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

6 December 2012

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 December 2012 (Wednesday)

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

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

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

Otherwise. . . .kind of an uneventful day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

28 November 2012 (Wednesday)

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 December 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

3 December 2012

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

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

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

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

1 December 2012 (Saturday)

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

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

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

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

30 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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