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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Time flies. 

Bought myself an early birthday present- a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It only takes about 15 minutes to freeze ice cream. I have made vanilla and strawberry so far, will probably make some chocolate today.

You scream, I scream...

I attended Tucson's 240th birthday celebration. A couple of hundred people were there, 

Cake lady.

It is the same ceremony every year. At one point I ducked outside to escape. 

You can't tell, but I am so sweaty.

People came in costume. This was my favorite.

Birthday hat lady.

The mariachi band played before the ceremony, really good. Once again I decided I need a pair of mariachi pants.



Friday, July 31, 2015

I spit into a tube and sent it off to Ancestry.com. The results arrived.

I am primarily western Europe- 40 percent, with 30 percent England and 15 percent Irish. This is what I suspected already, based on the over 35 years of genealogical research I have conducted.


The surprise was in the smaller amounts:

4 percent Iberian peninsula
4 percent Italy/Greece
2 eastern Europe
2 percent Scandinavian (I knew I had some Swedish more than 10 generations back)
2 percent Jewish
1 percent Caucasus



Who these people are I haven't a clue. I'm going to have my mother do the DNA test and see which places her ancestry comes from.

My maternal grandmother used to claim that there was Native American ancestry in her Clawson family. That has now been dis-proven.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I may never see a lion in the wild. Or a rhino or an elephant. Whenever I see photos of trophy hunters smirking next to these sort of dead animals, I become livid. There is no point to do so. The money supposedly being raised for conservation is going into the pockets of corrupt politicians.

Here in Arizona, hunters shoot sandhill cranes and bighorn sheep. What's the point? You can't eat them. They are just living targets for these shitty humans.

Members of my family hunt. I think it is grotesque, even though they gnaw and digest the deer, duck, elk, etc flesh. I prefer my animals wandering around alive. Guess that is why I have been a vegetarian since 1983.

Regarding this dentist. I wish only the worst for him. I have no sympathy. People are hungry in this world, dying from treatable diseases. And he spends his money going on fancy trips to shoot rare and endangered animals. What a foul person.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Remember when people took slides and forced you to sit through boring slide shows of their summer vacation?

 Road trip 2015:

On 3 July, I drove up to Phoenix and hung out with Taco until Craig came home and stayed at his place. Taco growled at me and then decided he actually loved me and wanted to sit on my lap. The next morning I drove north to Las Vegas.

On the way I stopped at Hoover Dam. The water is very far down from its usual levels due to the drought.


Hoover Dam.

I was actually more impressed by the amazing bridge that was constructed post 9-11 next to the dam, to handle the traffic that used to run across the top of the dam.


Note the smudge which appeared on the first couple of days of pictures on my camera.

I attended Ted and Mark's Redneck 4th party, wearing a costume I created.

Redneck patriotic Homer.

I stayed at the Palace Station Hotel in Las Vegas. Would not recommend it.

On 5 July I drove to Yosemite. Once you get off the Interstate the scenery becomes amazing and there were very few fellow travelers.

Clouds.

I had lunch at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada. No onion rings this time. I stopped on the way out at a famous motel.

I did not stay here.

I took lots of landscape photos, but then after you look at them you wonder why.

Mono Lake.

At Yosemite, I stayed in the Porcupine Flat campground ($12 a night, but they got $15 because I did not have change). The next morning I got up and drove down into the valley early in the morning and looked at the enormous cliffs.

Enormous!

Nothing was open because it was so early, but that was alright.


Me at Yosemite.

I then drove north to Lake Tahoe. The route took me high into the mountains- at one spot over 9000 feet. Beautiful, breathtaking scenery.

I arrived at Kevin's house and we took Blue and Koa for a nice walk.

Kevin and Blue.

Later we went to see Lake Tahoe, which was gorgeous.

Lake Tahoe.

While Kevin worked the next day, I entertained the dogs, read a book, and bought stuff to make cheesy corn burritos and pico de gallo salsa.

On Wednesday, 8 July I got in the trusty Ford Focus and drove to the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, where Matt is a facilities intern. He lives in a cute little house in the woods. I really liked meeting the people there, including his friend Alana who was a lot of fun.

Matt's house. He built the deck.

OAEC is a wonderful place where people can come learn about organic farming, permaculture, woodworking, how to run a non-profit, and other things. The interns and staff cook delicious vegetarian meals. I ate plums and a peach right off the tree. The plant life was gorgeous and I got to see deer two or three times a day.

Flower in the garden, distant relative of artichokes, I think.

On Thursday, while Matt was at work, I picked blackberries and raspberries from wild and domesticated bushes.


Blackberries.

I also went up to the pond and lay in the hammock.

Lazy.

The water lilies were beautiful- pink, yellow, and white.

Water lily.

That night, Matt helped me make a shortbread with blackberries. I had made a version of this at home, and vaguely remembered the recipe. We used too much sugar, I think, it was very sweet. But it was rapidly devoured.

Blackberry shortbread.

Matt has Fridays off so we went on a drive to see things. We stopped at the Pacific Ocean, which has a lot of water in it.

Buddies.

At Bodega Bay, we drove past the schoolhouse (now a home) used in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds.

We were not attacked.

At another ocean spot, we stopped and looked at pretty rocks.

Matts next album cover.

The vegetation along the coast is so different, of course, from Tucson.

Yellow wildflower.

The next day we went to the Armstrong Redwoods. They were alright, perhaps a little touristy. I would skip it. We went to Guernville and had bizarre Korean food and then to the RRR bar and hung out with Matt's friend John. 

The next day we went to a different redwoods grove near Occidental, whose name now escapes me. This place was awesome, the trees enormous.

Another album cover.

We went to the beach near Goat Island and saw harbour seals enjoying naps.



Harbour seals.

A little baby seal was so cute I wanted to seal-nap it. I don't think Puff or Snowball would like it.

Spot.

I showed Matt how to make the famous chocolate mayonnaise cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake did not rise as much as it normally does, but it was delicious and quickly disappeared. The people at OAEC don't often make desserts, so I am guessing is was a special treat.

Monday we went and saw Jurassic World with Matt's friend Allen, after eating at a Puerto Rican restaurant in Santa Rosa. 

Finally on Tuesday morning it was time for me to go, so I drove south to Sequoia National Park. I saw a cute brown bear along the road, unfortunately being hounded by tourists. I did not get out of my car, not wishing to add to its stress.

I slept (poorly) in my tent that night and got up early and drove to Kings Canyon and wandered around Grants Grove. The picture below does not clearly express how absolutely enormous these trees are. One is over 300-feet-tall. 

Sequoia!

I sat on a bench looking at one of them for a while, until I realized pine cones were falling down and smacking the ground very hard. I decided that would hurt.

On the way out a pair of deer looked at me.

One of the deer.

I drove to Riverside, spent the night, and then drove back to Tucson, arriving home on 15 July. What a lovely trip. 

And Puff won't leave me alone for a second. He was very upset that I went away for so long.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BANG! I was lying on the couch and suddenly a lot of loud bangs against the window. I looked out the front door and was amazed to see enormous hail hitting the ground, some about one-inch in diameter.

Hail!

Luckily, no windows were broken. It was very exciting.

At the moment I am making a big batch of carmelized onions to can and give away as presents on my upcoming road trip. My house is extra hot and sticky.


Monday, June 29, 2015

I'm featured in this segment of Arizona Illustrated, discussing what Tucson was like in 1776:


Well my excavation went well. We had a press day on Wednesday and I appeared on live television three times and did not make any major flubs.

Among the things we found during the last week was a dog burial. We located quite about three dogs and probably a dozen cats. And lots of dead chickens.


Doggy.

I made a nectarine shortbread from Martha Stewart's Living magazine. It was delicious and fattening.

17 tablespoons of butter.

And then it was Friday, June 26th. Hey, the second anniversary of being made single! And I checked my phone and discovered that the Supremes had decided that us gay folks should be equal. What a lovely sentiment. I decided to go home to celebrate.

Waiting for the street car.

A rainbow hung above Tucson. 

Gaybow.

I ended up hanging out with a friend and had a lot of gin and tonics. It was a great night to be gay.



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Last Saturday we played pool volleyball. I made a white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and strawberry buttercream filling. Everyone really liked it.

The guys.

Third week of the dig. I worked last Sunday with Dan and by Thursday we completed stripping the site. The various pits and postholes are marked in white paint.

Features.

Along the north side we found a well. The upper fill was broken bricks. Dan dug below and found trash-filled earth, containing a lot of broken crockery (unusual for Arizona), dishes, and some other junk. 

Upper portion of well filled with bricks.

Nearby is a long, rectangular pit that contains a lot of artifacts (but mostly nails and tin can pieces). Tyler did find a really cool stoneware ink bottle with a preserved paper label.

Carter's Writing Fluid.

Tyler was also digging another pit and found a cat burial.

Kitty.

In other news, SO HOT! It was above 104 all week, peaking at 108 or so. Nasty. I could not believe how much I sweated.


Sunday, June 07, 2015

I went to Swank to get my haircut and I had a new barber who surprised me by charging a lot.

Expensive grooming.

My latest archaeology dig began last week. Another downtown block, this one will be a nice hotel, replacing a parking lot and a brick building that had been so heavily altered it no longer had any historical integrity.

After a few days we had stripped about one quarter of the project area, exposing some walls, a 1930s gas station, and a variety of pit.

The gas station is on the left foreground. The wall to the right of the red flags was built between 1889 and 1896. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

A couple of pits contained trash discarded by a 1930s automobile repair business.

An engine block is among the various auto parts.

The first few days the sun wore me out. I came home and lay down and felt the heat leaving my body.

Sunny.

Wednesday afternoon I went over to the office and as I was coming back a little dog was running in the road, cars swerving to avoid it. I stopped, ran after it, and she came to me when I called her. I took her to the Humane Society but they were closing. They verified she did not have a chip. So I brought her home and she spent the night with me.


Homer and Doggy.

Buddy hated her with a passion and tried to attack her. Naughty. On Thursday afternoon I took her back to the Humane Society and they said she would be quickly adopted if the owner did not claim her.

Saturday I attended a concert at the Presidio Park with Jeffrey and was amazed at Gabriel Ayala's guitar playing. It was a successful event. This morning I went back over and helped clean up and put away things. I then went back over and watched the demolition of the building. The big machinery made the building disappear into a pile of rubble quickly.

Demolition.

Mac n cheese for lunch. I had to wash my silverware after discovering a cockroach had been in the silverware drawer. Another HUGE one was in my bathroom cupboard. So gross. I guess it is that season.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I've been following the Duggar molestation story. This family has always seemed creepy to me. I've never seen the reality show that the family stars in (I don't have fancy cable). But I've read about the family's treatment of women as vaginas, the anti LGBT crap the parents and their son Josh have spouted. These have suggested to me that there wasn't something quite right with them.

If you had asked me I would have thought it would be the father that sexually abused the daughters. It would not have occurred to me that the brother would be doing it, but then I am naive about these sort of things. Josh Duggar had been a rising star among the fundamentalists, working for the Family Research Council, speaking at the March 2015 anti-gay marriage rally in Washington, D.C.  Of course, now the fundies are all scrubbing their websites of mentions of him and the rest of his family (although the NOM website still mentions the family five times).

What is really weird is to see the fundamentalist Christian response to the sexual molestation. On the family's Facebook page and the TLC network Facebook page, there are literally hundreds of people demanding that the reality show be put back on. Josh has confessed and repented, so the show should be on the air again. The molested girls? They are either ignored or it is claimed that they forgave their brother, therefore the show should be aired again.

Some sample comments:

Julie Anna Allen: I dont understand why the devil attacks those who are on God's road but he attacking your family hard right now. Praying for you guys.

Beverly Hope Ruttschaw: It makes sense that the only wholesome family on TV would be under attack by satan.

Joan Barto: Full support and prayers for your family!! No-one is immune.to scandal ...we all make mistakes!! Unfortunately you have people who want to.see you fail....I remain a dedicated Duggar fan and look forward to the joy you all bring to my life with your show. 

Debbi Utter Howard: I support your family. My heart especially goes out to Josh & Anna right now. I wish he hadn't resigned his position with FRC. Josh was a kid. He made mistakes like many kids and confessed, sought help, turned to God and has had a productive adult life. 

Kayla Willemkens: Praying for your family. I love the show and hope it doesn't get cancelled over this. I praise Josh for coming forward about it after it happened and for the family for getting him help. True Christ believers will forgive and unfortunately there are many who will believe everything that comes out about this regardless if it's truth or not. I continue to support this family and their show.

It is becoming clearer to me why there is so much physical and sexual abuse in Christian households. All the perpetrators have to do is "repent," and their victims have to shut the hell up, because their God has told them to.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Craft night. 

 My friend Mike came over and we went to Rosa's for supper. Then we returned to my estate and made decorated sugar cookies.

First I had him pick out cookie cutters. Then I showed Mike how to roll out the dough and we filled three trays with cookies. The third tray was half-burnt when I took them out, but we still had about two dozen cookies to decorate.


Baking.

While the cookies were baking and cooling, we made a simple frosting with powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Then we colored six batches (along with an uncolored white batch), and put the frosting in plastic baggies to squeeze out. 

Frosting.

Mike said it had been years since he had made sugar cookies.

Mike.

We had a good time and were quite creative.


Mike made the "Bacon" pig cookie.


I like my zebra and turtle cookies.

Afterward I helped Mike with his family tree. Discovered that Italians can be difficult to trace. It was a fun night. I need to have more craft nights.

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