Saturday, May 21, 2016

Seven days of Jimbo. Jim arrived Wednesday afternoon while I was out digging. Doug was nice enough to go pick him up. It was four years since he was last here. That night of course we went to Rosa's. Jim enjoyed three enchiladas and two margaritas.


I went to work on Thursday. In the afternoon I took Jim over to the Old Adobe Guesthouse, where he had a very nice room to enjoy, without Puff walking over him in the middle of the night. That evening, we went to the bridge over the Rillito, at Campbell Avenue, to watch the bats fly out at dusk.

We arrived an hour early.

A few minutes before sunset the bats suddenly started flying out from small cracks beneath the bridge. Thousands and thousands of bats. It was very impressive.


I had been wanting to see this for a long time, but waited until Jim came to visit.

More bats.

Friday afternoon was Gay Mens Happy Hour, and I rode the streetcar and met up with Ray (Robert was stuck in traffic coming down from Phoenix). Patrick and Mark showed up. We had many fruity drinks and afterward ate at Delectables.

Homer, Ray, and Jim.

I dragged Jim up to the stage and he participated in a hula dancing competition. He lost to a woman who obviously knew what she was doing.


Saturday, Jim, Mark, and I went down to Ray and Robert's house to play in the pool. I got a little sunburnt and fell asleep at 8 PM.

Ray, Jordan, Robert, Mark, and Homer.

The next morning we went for a walk and took an embarrassing photograph.


Sunday evening was spent having drinks and chatting with Kamron and Patrick. It was a nice time. The next day I drove Jim up to the top of Mount Lemmon.

Jim looking at scenery.

It was 92 on the valley floor and 62 on top. Jim got to see several new species of birds.

He also got up close to some saguaro blossoms.

Tuesday he borrowed the trusty Ford Focus and drove down to Madera Canyon while I was digging. He got to see the very rare trogon, which was very exciting. That afternoon we stopped at the Presidio Park. The sun was very bright.

Jim posing in the park.

He flew back Wednesday. Doug, who was going to take him to the airport, ended up having appendicitis instead and I spent Thursday at the VA Hospital. Very dramatic. 

Monday, May 09, 2016

I purchased this photo from Ebay, taken between 1894 and 1901 in my hometown. I think the guy on the left is very cute.

Old photo.

Couple of weekends ago I went up to Phoenix and had supper with Craig, Jesse, and Mike. At a vegetarian restaurant. My fake Big Mac was tasty and the fries were great. The soy ice cream afterward was awful. Very trendy though.

Then we played board games. In the morning we went to the breakfast place and broke our fast.



I've been working out on an archaeology dig. Hohokam pit structures and pits, dating from about AD 500 to 700 and from around AD 1150 to 1300.

Tanque Verde style pottery, circa AD 1150 to 1300+.

I spent some time digging in soil mining pits, where people dug into the dirt to collect material to make adobe plaster. These pits then were filled with trash, either on purpose or washed in (the area was slightly down slope).

I found a spindle whorl. Originally it would have had a stick through it and it was used to spin cotton or agave fibers into thread.


Other side.

I worked on two pit structures dating to the early occupation of the site. One was difficult to dig because the same spot had been used for two houses. You can see various postholes, pits, and floor grooves in this picture, with the plastered hearth to the left of the meter stick. This is only slightly more than half of the house.

Pit structure.

The other house contained almost rock hard gravelly fill, very difficult to dig. It had a nice plastered floor though, and partially plastered walls. An old phone line ran through it. 

Also probably dates from around AD 500 to 700.

A little ground squirrel, apparently orphaned, was in the trench next to where I was working, crying out "cheep, cheep." I picked it up and put it back, later I gave it to Katie who is now bottle feeding it. It was very cute.

Ground squirrel.


And in other news, yesterday was Mother's 84th birthday, and also Mother's Day. There is some turmoil going on back in Michigan. Honestly, it is just tiresome.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Post 2,700.

Slightly more than six months to the election. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the Arizona primary. I will vote for her in the general election on November 8.

I have acquaintances who are Bernie Sanders supporters. Some of them post ridiculous articles on Facebook. Every day I learn how satanic Mrs. Clinton is. Every single thing she does is evil. I've had to block several people's posts because the bullshit just gets too much to handle.

The most childish of these folks are the ones saying they won't vote in the election if Sanders doesn't get the nomination. Temper tantrums are for little kids.

I had a favorable impression of Bernie Sanders. I went to one of his rallies in Phoenix and agreed with what he had to say. The favorable impression has withered away in the last couple of weeks due to both things he has said and the blabbering of his supporters.

Six more months. SIGH.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The birds are chirping outside, Spring is here, rapidly moving toward Summer. The creosotebush is blooming, the flowers turning into little fluff balls.


In my backyard the cacti are blooming too. It didn't freeze much this year and the cacti are enormous.

Prickly pear.

Buddy follows me around when I am watering or inspecting things.

Buddy stretches.

I've been out digging for the last three weeks. One of the weeks was spent at a site that is quite famous that I had never been too before. It had adobe-lined pithouses. I dug in trash areas and trash-filled pits. I screened a lot of dirt through 1/8-inch mesh and found many tiny animal bones, rodents, lizards, snakes, and small birds. I also found six beads, five in the 1/8-inch mesh (we usually screen dirt using 1/4-inch mesh). The beads were made from shell, stone, and turquoise.

Archaeologists at work.

April is the month of events. Every weekend one or two days are spent preparing for and/or attending events. I was hoping it would calm down in May, but I already have one event to do.

Cannon firing at the park.

Back at the second dig site I dug 1m by 2m control units in two pithouses. We excavate control units to see what it in the houses, and to have samples to compare to other houses. As I was digging through chunks of fallen adobe from the walls and roof of one of the houses, this enormous shell bracelet fragment popped out, dating to sometime between AD 1150 to 1300. Like the other artifacts we uncover, it will go to the museum for curation.

Shell bracelet.

Archaeology isn't all exciting finds. Yesterday the wind blew like crazy in the afternoon and I was covered in dust, so uncomfortable. What looks like tan skin is actually a layer of dirt. You should see what I blew out of my nose.


Friday, April 01, 2016

Happy 16th Birthday Puff!

He looks great for a cat his age and is as spry as ever.


He and Snowball celebrated by taking naps and getting cuddles when I got home from work.

Snowball is only six.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It is Spring-Time in Tucson. My allergies have gone crazy.

I am out working on a dig at a prehistoric site. First we had to get things ready.

Archaeology is always glamorous.

I was invited to an Easter Party and made a quiche and a lemon meringue pie.

Lemon meringue.

I made friends with a donkey.


On Monday I noticed through my office window that the friendly ground squirrel had woken up from hibernation and I gave it some bird seed.

Ground squirrel.

The native palo verde trees are blooming. Very lovely yellow flowers.

Palo verdes have green bark.

My backyard doesn't have a large amount of blooming plants. I used to have many wildflowers, but the overgrown state apparently killed many of them off. Other things are blooming.


Unidentified yellow plant.

I spent Tuesday scraping backhoe trench walls, looking for prehistoric features. I found a small pit with some Hohokam pottery. I came home very dirty.


Today was bug day. First a very large spider, which I rescued and took away from where we were working.

Spider, about 2.5 inches across.

As I was digging a large centipede, about four inches long, came crawling out of the dirt. My entomologist friend Doug identified it.

Scolopendra heros- giant centipede

I did not touch it. I do not care for centipedes, but I moved it away from where I was at. I don't like to kill insects.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The 11th Annual Non Denominational Egg Decorating and Backyard Egg Hunt Party was a resounding success. Dozens of people came. About 100 eggs were decorated.

It was Hiram's first time decorating an egg. He did an excellent job. The kids had a good time too.

Clockwise, Hiram, Milo, Isaac, and Sheridan.

I forced some of the adults to participate. People can be scared of doing crafts!!

Evan, Dan, Erika, Pablo, and Nicole.

Menu: hummous, sour cream and carmelized onion dip, a quiche, pineapple upsidedown cake, cookies, and pimento cheese stuffed celery. Almost everything was devoured.

The table.

All the eggs were decorated.


People had a nice time chatting.

Tavi, Mark, and Patrick.

At 4:00 it was time for the Egg Hunt. I had everyone pose for a picture, but only about 25 participated. Who would win?

The guests.

I have about 400 to 500 plastic eggs. It was a hassle putting them out because so many have become separated. It took 40 minutes. And only about seven minutes for them to be found.

Grabbing eggs.

Hard to do this holding a child!

The winners: Patrick (142 points), Tara (102 points), and Kris (92 points). Ray was last place with 12!

Patrick, Tara, and Chris.

It was a really nice party and everyone had a good time. It was nice to see people I don't normally get to see. 

Mark and Homer.


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