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.

I made Better Homes and Garden sugar cookies and added the zest of one lemon.

Lemony sugar cookies.

The frosting was just powdered sugar and lemon juice. Mark helped mix up the pastel colors. I put the bottles of decorating sugars and jimmies out.

Couldn't find toothpicks, so matches had to do.

The frosting was almost perfect, and we squeezed it out of the corner of baggies onto the cookies.

Mark decorating.

Buddy visited with us. He got to eat two broken cookies and was very happy about that.

Buddy and the freshly scrubbed floor.

I need to get some egg-shaped cookie cutters. I tried cutting some out by hand, not successful.

One plate.

I think overall we were successful and had a good time.

1840s platter with 2016 cookies.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

I'm out monitoring some trenching on a portion of a historic block downtown. The old fire insurance maps should the transformation of the block from having a few houses to becoming the location of two boarding houses/hotels built in the early 1900s. The foundations of one of these buildings lies on top of a soil mining pit, where dirt was removed to make adobe bricks. The pit was later filled in with a lot of trash (the pit was about two meters deep).

It rained Monday night/Tuesday morning and when I got to the block I noticed something white in the trench backdirt. I pulled it out and found a small bud vase. It is porcelain, hand-painted, probably made in Europe. The bottom has "135" scratched into the porcelain and "54" in gold paint.

Bud vases were used for one or two short flowers, like a single rose head. You have to wonder why this one was thrown away.

Bud vase.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Same sweater.

Mother made me this sweater back in the early 1980s. I wore it for my high school graduation photo. I wonder why I wasn't smart enough to take off the glasses. Look at how sweet and innocent I was!

I have gone through phases of buzzing my hair off. Sometimes because I am too cheap to pay for a haircut. Sometimes because it is just cooler in the summer.


The beard is getting real gray. The sweater still fits, although I have put on some pounds. It is made from polyester yarn and will probably survive long after I am gone.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Spring has arrived. Wildflowers are starting to bloom. I did an immense amount of yardwork and gave a bunch of plants to my new neighbors, Pete and Rose, who have moved into the house to the north.

I have two lemon trees that I planted. The house to the north used to have a beautiful lemon tree but Dan stopped watering it and when I realized that, it was too late and it died.

My first lemon tree is about three years old and this year it made two lemons.

On the tree.


I made creamy lemon pasta and Doug and I agreed it tasted great.

I am giving a tour of the other Spanish fort on the San Pedro River next weekend, so I asked Mark to go along with me and we went down south.


Wall foundation.

The fort was in existence from 1775 to 1780. Apache warriors killed over 90 of the soldiers and they finally abandoned the place. Tucson's fort lasted until 1856.

Mark and I had picnic lunch at Fairbank, a ghost town. We wandered down to the San Pedro River, which has water in it. It was a nice day.

Mark and I.

At home, the little peach tree that grew from a peach pit I threw into my compost pile (all of my kitchen scraps goes into two different areas in my backyard instead of in the garbage) has decided to bloom for the first time.

Peach tree.

I wonder if I will get any peaches from it. I also wonder whether the dirt is contaminated with lead paint residue. My house was built in 1927, and I am pretty sure there has been plenty of time for lead paint to get into the dirt outside.


Blossoms, with my recently deceased Cuisinart toaster in the background.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

So Justice Scalia died and people are blabbering that we should show his dead corpse some respect because he was reportedly brilliant. At first I didn't think I should say anything, but then seeing people clamoring about how I am supposed to feel sadness and respect for that narcissistic psychopath, I changed my mind. Someone I have been blogging friends with for over a decade unfriended me on Facebook. I actually didn't care.

As someone else said, Scalia showed no respect to large numbers of living human beings. He openly hated LGBT people, African-Americans, mentally disabled people, and women (I am sure I am missing a few groups). If you weren't straight, white, Christian, and male, you were to be despised. Sorry, but I am not interested in respecting someone who feels that way. I didn't respect him while he was alive (I loathed him), and certainly not going to respect his embalmed body.

I believe people have one life to live. That's it. I do not go out of my way to make other people miserable. I could care less if you believe in some sky fairy or another. But if you try to force me to live my life following your particular set of myths, I do not feel inclined to be nice to you. Scalia was like that, he wanted everybody to be Catholic like him. He was like a little boy, having tantrums because he often did not get his way (oh his judicial dissents were so wonderful! puke). I'm glad he lived long enough to see gay couples getting happily married.

So anyways, I don't often blather on about political stuff on my blog anymore, but wanted to record these thoughts so if/when I come back to this I can see what I was thinking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I recently watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow and it got me thinking about a painting I have. I purchased it for five dollars at a junk store back in the early 1990s. It is a landscape scene, depicting dunes and some foliage. I had always assumed it was from the east coast of the United States.


 The painting is signed on the lower left side. I thought it said Amy Lyney, and attempts to find a person with that name were unsuccessful.


So I decided to play detective and did some internet searching and found a watercolor done by the same person, this time a scene with houses and trees.

Watercolor, street scene.

I asked my friend Seth, who is an antique expert and he said that the signature should read Am. Lyney instead of Amy Lyney. Searching that name brings up a few other paintings and watercolors, created in the early 1900s, some in Belgium. My painting wasn't a Picasso or a Monet, but it is nice to see that the artist had a career and that there are other pieces out there.

The Brabantsch landscape, 1909.
Dames bij de bloemist (Ladies at the Florist).


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