Thursday, October 08, 2015

Last three weekends have seen busy times. My buddy Dave arrived for a visit from Austin, Texas. He was here to visit galleries to sell them his beautiful ceramics.

I took him out into the desert so he could see cacti.

Homer and Dave.

Of course he had to do the saguaro pose.


We went up to the top of Mount Lemmon and I forgot to take pictures except for this one of a pretty flower.


The lunar eclipse happened, my cell phone camera takes pretty ugly photos at night.

Lunar eclipse.

I woke up one morning with a perfect handlebar mustache.

The Scientist in his native habitat.

Last weekend was Rob's turn to visit from San Francisco. We ate Mexican food. On Saturday we went up to Mount Lemmon.

Rob really liked the views.

I saw a pretty poppy. At the top of the mountain the wind blew really hard as we had a picnic lunch.


That night I invited Patrick and Kamron over to play Risk.


I don't think Rob and Kamron had ever played Risk before.


Patrick and I battled each other over Australia and Asia.


I was defeated after about three hours.


We eventually gave up, after probably three hours and many drinks. It was a fun night.

Rob had a nice visit, taking lots of naps. I even made him watch Lawrence Welk.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

I've been an archaeologist since 1986. For most of this time I have specialized in historical archaeology- excavating sites dating from about 1700 to the 1930s. I've worked for my company since 1992, and have excavated many historic period sites in southern Arizona. Occasionally we recover artifacts that can be linked to a specific person. Our recent work on Block 92, at the northwest corner of E. Broadway Blvd and S. 5th Avenue, is one such case.

The first individual to live on Lot 8 of the block was David John Boleyn, known in Tucson as Jack Boleyn. He was born in New York state in the 1840s and arrived in Tucson with the railroad in 1880. He set up a transfer business, hauling freight around Tucson and surrounding areas. In 1881, he was one of the founding members of the Tucson volunteer fire department. By 1883, he was the Chief of the department, a position to held for most of the years until 1898. Ironically, in that year his buildings on Lot 8 burned and the charred debris was thrown down a well shaft, which Desert Archaeology excavated in June 2015.

Among the artifacts found in the well were metal buttons marked FD for Fire Department. A photograph of Jack Boleyn shows him wearing his uniform with its shiny buttons. He is also wearing an identification badge. An identical badge was found in a planting hole during the excavations.

Jack continued to help out on fires after he retired as Fire Chief in 1898. In 1910 he was helping out on a fire at the Goldring Store when the roof collapsed. A beam fell on his stomach, perhaps causing internal injuries. Water had accumulated on the tin roof, boiling from the intense heat, and this also fell on Boleyn, scalding him from the waist down. He was able to walk home, but died the next day. His funeral was attended by the mayor, city council, and the volunteer fireman. His grave in Evergreen Cemetery was unmarked until 2008, when a modern tombstone was installed.

One of the reasons I like doing historical archaeology is being able to learn details about the people whose homes I dig up. In Jack's case he was known for being a strong man, a hard drinker. He was also a bigamist, at one time married to three different women at the same time. I think I would probably have liked this man in person.

Friday, September 18, 2015

So it was my 52nd birthday and I decided to do something fun. So I invited Kamron and Mark to come over and decorate sugar cookies. I made the cookies the night before, picked out a dozen favorite cutters, used the Better Homes and Garden recipe. Kamron showed up first and helped me color the powdered sugar and lemon juice frosting.

Kamron mixing frosting.

We spooned the frosting into plastic baggies and nipped one corner. Mark showed up and the cookie decorating commenced.

Mark, the artiste.

We talked about Burning Man (Kamron went) and life in general.


The frosting was a little too runny, unfortunately, but we did out best.

I made the frowny bear.

It was a fun get-together. Everyone should have a good time on their 52nd birthday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Version 52.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Today I got in my car and drove toward work, listening to NPR. About half way there I realized that it was Sunday instead of Monday.

Oh lord. I'm turning into an old person.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Craig and I drove east on I-10 towards Las Cruces.

Road trip.

We spent the night in Las Cruces.

On Friday we headed east to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I was last there in 1989. Craig has never been there. We took the elevator 750 feet down. It was a cool 65 degrees. The old restaurant that was once there was gone.


The cave formations were huge, interesting, and unexpected.

Enormous column.


As we were leaving the park we saw a car stopped and looked over the edge of the road and saw a large number of bighorn sheep. I'm not sure whether I have ever seen bighorn sheep before.

Cute little lamb.

Afterward we drove north to Santa Fe. The sunset was beautiful. It rained a few times.
New Mexico sunset.

The next morning we headed east to Pecos National Historical Park. My friend Jeremy is the archaeologist there. We stopped at the museum first.

Lots of interesting things to learn.

Craig and I headed up to see the pueblo and the cathedral. As we went along I showed Craig how to spot pottery. 

Pecos church.

That afternoon we went to downtown Santa Fe. Escaping rain under an overhang. Later we had supper at the Plaza Cafe with Jeremy. They managed to charge my debit card for a meal we paid cash for. Not cool. The chili was delicious and burned throughout my digestive tract.

We drove down to Albuquerque and spent the night, watching silly fancy tv. The next day we drove south through back roads to see the Spanish Mission of Quarai, built in 1625 and abandoned in 1677.


Craig enjoyed seeing the well-preserved ruins.

Inside the church.

Outside the church.

The trail led through a wild area where we ate chokecherries and some other berries. It was fun to sample them.

We then drove to Mountainair. I lived there in 1986 on my first dig, and lived at Gran Qivira in 1989 while teaching field school. I hadn't been back since.  


I was kind of surprised at how poorly I remember the town. I spent 10 weeks there in 1986, but little had stuck in my mind. One of the things I recalled was the Rosebud Saloon, where I learned to love Patsy Cline, who was popular on the jukebox, as well as the Cattle Call song.

Rosebud Saloon.

We had lunch at the Ancient Cities Cafe. Church was getting out and the town elders arrived to have the buffet, which Craig enjoyed. I had the red chili cheese enchiladas and then an order of super delicious onion rings.

Jerry's Ancient Cities Cafe.

We went back to Tucson, and Craig headed home to Phoenix. It was a lovely time with a good friend.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Often when I am at work a movement catches my eye and I turned to my left and spot either a bobcat or a coyote(s) walking by. I call out to Patti and Sarah and we go into the next cubicle and watch.

There are two or three bobcats. One has a limp. This one doesn't and looks very healthy, probably eating rabbits, ground squirrels, maybe an occasional cat.

I tapped on the window and it pauses to look at me.

It rapidly lost interest and continued on, climbing back and forth across the fence.

It eventually went behind the agave, which you can see on the left, and started scratching around. Patti wondered why. I reminded her that cats like to do that when they poop or pee.

One of the perks of living next to a wildlife corridor.

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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. 


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.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

comments powered by Disqus