Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I made a playhouse from the washing machine box for the kids coming over Sunday for the Egg Party.

46 1/2.

I have few artistic skills, so the painting is rather primitive.


The roof is the motor mount packing.

Window and flowers.

A scrap of carpeting for the floor and an old wooden stool that I will paint tomorrow for furniture.

More flowers.

I hope the kids like it. It was fun to make.

Friday, April 04, 2014

After last week's gas line break, what else could go wrong? My washing machine died. 2004-2014. I paid $435 for it. The new one I purchased cost $335 (on sale and Doug found a $50 coupon).

My backyard is blooming like crazy.

Brittle bush.

I happened to see the one cactus that blooms for about 24 hours.


At the old fort site, the work is nearing completion. The ruined officer's quarters have roofs and porches. The scale is wonderful, you can really envision what the space looked like.

Officer's Quarters.

Later in the day I journeyed into the basement of the museum building. It would make a great horror movie set.

I am scared.

Lately I've had insomnia. I wake up in the middle of the night fretting about things. I vowed never to do this when I was younger (my father had the same problem). But it is happening. Having $855 in unexpected bills, and the need to replace my car tires and shocks... SIGH

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Happy 14th Birthday Puff!

Every night he crawls under the cover and sleeps with his head on my arm. He is a good kitty cat.


If you ever come over to my house, he will demand that you let him sit on your lap. He does not care if you have allergies. He is the most dog-like cat.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

When we got to the field school site yesterday Mike was already there and came to tell me that there was an injured dog there. We walked back and found a brown pug dog lying on the protective fabric we had removed from last year's excavation unit. It looked up at me with sad brown eyes. I walked back and told Barney and took a blue plastic tub with me and carefully placed the dog into it and carried it back to the vehicles. I got some water and dipped my hand into it and trickled water into the dog's mouth. After a while it started licking my hand and I gave it more water.

After the kids went off to work I examined the dog and found about nine puncture wounds- I thought from bites from a coyote or bobcat, someone else thought they might be from a large hawk. Nicole helped me clean and apply antiseptic and antiobiotic cream to them. The dog was very docile.

Barney was able to call the B & B that is nearby and they knew a woman named Julia who could take the dog to a vet to get examined. I rode in the back of Barney's parents' car and we delivered the dog to her.

Poor little pug.

I am waiting to hear whether he survived. He was wounded pretty bad and the largest puncture was infected, but perhaps he will survive. He seemed to be a sweet little dog.

UPDATE: The little dog is doing well after a visit to the veterinarian. I wonder if Julia will be adopting him.

Friday, March 28, 2014

After I finished the first talk this week, my mother said to me, "That was more interesting than your other talks." Sometimes I think she totally doesn't understand etiquette or is just socially awkward. A while ago she said to me that her "Being a loner was just like you being gay." I was totally weirded out by this.

Yesterday I have another talk and as I was driving home for lunch I saw that Doug had called me. These gas tester guys had found a gas leak at my house. When I got home I discovered the front door open (cats locked up in my bedroom) and my mother sitting on a lawn chair in the front yard fuming. They had sent her out of the house while she was cooking lunch (and making an utter mess of the stove) and then she had some older lady problems. Her mood turned foul and bitchy and later that night I yelled at her, "Mother, just stop it!"

We went to Rosa's and she had two beef flautas and she later threw up and this morning she told me she had been poisoned. Terrorists are everywhere.

Two estimates for the gas leak repair- $1,100 and $1,035. Dan the next door neighbor did it instead and I ended up spending $450 instead. I was pleased about that, I did not have to empty my savings account out or charge it on my credit card.

At one moment I went into my bathroom and shut the door and stood in the shower. So stressed out over everything.


Tonight boiled potatoes and spinach salad for supper. Afterward I may clean the fridge. After my mother leaves I have plans for social activities. I am done sitting at home on Friday nights.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Field school 2014. We headed south, almost to the Mexican border, to excavate at the Spanish Mission site. About a dozen students, some graduate students, Barney, Jeremy, Jeffords, and a few others.

I kept forgetting my camera so not as many archaeology pictures as usual.

Excavating our first unit.

Out first unit was a bust- we thought we might be in an early farming portion of the site, but we had Hohokam pottery all the way down to the layer of cobbles.

Back at the ranch, we set up tents and I visited with the animals.

Curious chicken.

It is spring here in Arizona and the wildflowers and fruit trees are blooming.

Cherry tree.

We re-opened the unit from last year.

Teaching leaf blower skills.

At night it was cold and I slept poorly. I had hoped the eye allergies that have plagued me would stop, but they didn't.


Every night our caterer Emily and her assistant Yvonne served us supper. So nice to be spoiled. Our ranch host was Dean, a really nice man.

Dean and Barney.

We opened another unit in the mystery structure. We found a burned beam and latillas, and fire-hardened mud with latilla impressions.


Some days were windy and the ranch's windmill spun round and round.


One night I visited with the three miniature burros. They were very cute.

Best buds.

The sun sets quickly and the moon was so bright I could see what color my shirt was in my tent.

Another sunset.

The students were fun and learned how to do their archaeology work well.

Fabiola, Lily, and Kristen.

Close to the floor of the structure we found some cattle bone.

Barney uncovering a cattle skull fragment.

Jeremy showed up from Santa Fe and I put him to work uncovering a large stone near the structure.

Jeremy and stone.

It had a circular hole through it.

Preparing for a photo.

We flipped it over and measured and photographed it before putting it back. It is a "killed" metate, with a hole smashed through it. Who knows for what reason.


Among the wild flowers were many poppies, my favorite.


As work progressed, we found the corner of the room.


James, a student from last year, arrived to help out. It was nice to see him.

James, Fabiola, Catelyn, and Alex.

A calf was in the pen next to the turkeys, it wasn't sure whether to like me.


I finally bought a pad, but by the end of the week I was just worn out from lack of sleep. And I snored so loud people could hear me at the campfire.


Dean rode up on Scruffy and examined our mystery area and agreed that it was probably a corral.

Dean and Scruffy.

We thought lines of vegetation were adobe wall alignments, but they turned out to be trenches for a post and (probably) wattle fence. We used a t-shaped probe to locate the trenches in two areas.

James probing.

We marked the trench locations with pin flags so they can be mapped next Saturday.

Trench location.

Two more Saturdays of fieldwork and then the students analyze the artifacts and features we found for their presentations and papers. Science! 


1 April 2000 - 19 March 2014

She was a good kitty, even when she went through that phase of peeing on the furniture back in the early 2000s. The last year or so she liked me to put my arm around her as she rested her head on my shoulder. She felt safe (her brother Puff was sometimes mean to her).

She had been losing weight in the last month and I took her to the vet and he found a mass in her abdomen- almost certainly a tumor. Her last night was spent sitting on my mother's lap getting petted. I was away at field school and my mother didn't call me. The neighbor boy Ignacio and Doug helped bury her next to Mama Cat in the backyard.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I purchase old photographs from my hometown of Traverse City on Ebay. They come from all over the country. I am perplexed at how they end up for sale- I suppose some are left behind in storage units. Others belonged to people whose relatives were not interested in old family stuff. I've known of both things happening.

Some of the photos have the names of the people on them, written on their back. Those are great because I can research them and sometimes contact relatives and send them the scanned image.

Most are unidentified, although in several cases I have been able to determine who they were- once because I ended up with one photo of a couple and then purchased two more photos of the woman. In the other case, I happened to have seen a man's photo in another source.

I have researched the photo studios and that allows me provide rough dates for when they were taken. The Boswell studio operated from about 1900 to 1906. 

As I accumulate photos, I am seeing the same props and backgrounds used over and over again. The McManus studios used this fence, gate, and grass matting prop in the 1890s for the photos above and below.

I'm hoping that with enough dated photos, I can develop a better dating system using the props, backgrounds, and photographer's marks. 

Eventually I will donate the collection to the historical society in Traverse City, where they can be cared for.

If you have old photographs like these, I hope you are asking your older relatives who the people are, scanning them, and sharing them with your other relatives, so that they do not end up as nameless images on Ebay.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

My family has lived in Michigan since the 1830s. I am the one of only a handful of members of my family to have left (my mother's brother and his wife and kids live in Oregon and Texas, a cousin lives in Florida).

All the rest live in a state that banned same sex marriages and even civil unions back in 20XX. The last couple of weeks have seen the ban on same sex couple's join adoption and marriage on trial. The State of Michigan rounded up six witnesses to testify paying at least some of them $300 an hour for there time (which typically include pre-trial prep, trial time, and travel time).

The first witness was some snotty-nose brat named Sherif Girgis who styles himself an expert on why homos shouldn't get hitched. The judge declined to hear him, since he isn't an expert at anything besides being a student on his third degree.

The second witness was University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus. Who put together a "study" at the behest of the Witherspoon Institute, a fundamentalist Christian group. The guy hates gay stuff- he recently wrote a paper stating that if gays get married, straight men are going to want more anal sex. I'm guessing that Mrs. Regnerus doesn't like caboose sex, but then who knows?

I didn't really pay attention to witnesses three, four, and five other than to note they are all funded by the anti-gay crowd or members of those groups or boardmembers or just hate anal as much as Regnerus or Mormons, or all of the above and then some.

The sixth witness blathered on with statistics that he pulled out of his unfucked butt- girls with gay fathers are only 15 percent likely to graduate from high school. I mean, how stupid does he think we are? And at the end, he admitted on the stand that unrepentant homosexuals are going to burn in Hell.

I have to admit even I was shocked a tad that someone would be so stupid as to say that on the witness stand, but I guess he said it somewhere else so it was on the record. I can't imagine a judge who hears someone say they are unbiased about gays in one sentence and then hears the same person say the fags will writhe in HELL will think much of that person's testimony.

Anyways, I blather on because I wanted to record my impressions of the trial. Will the judge rule for the lesbian couple caring for three special needs kids? I hope so. I look forward to Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage being all sad again, bitching about activist judges.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spring has arrived in Tucson.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I went to the protest with high hopes. When I moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1988 the Circle K convenience store chain announced that they were going to fire all homosexuals- to keep their insurance costs down because in their eyes, all homosexuals were diseased. Even though they quickly changed their mind, it was still a shocking wake up call.

At Arizona State University I joined the LGBT group and in the second year was its president. This was in the pre-internet days and the group was small, many members fearful of being found out. I went and spoke at psychology classes, where one male student asked me how gay men could have anal sex- "The butt is for excretion." I pointed out that the penis was used for sex and for urination. He was so stupid that he did not see the connection. There were other incidents- being called a sodomite by the student government vice president, having to confront the student newspaper editor about the paper's publishing the names, addresses, and majors of men caught having sex in bathrooms (he quickly backed down when I threatened a law suit).

I moved to Tucson and the Center for Arizona Policy was formed. The leader of the group, Cathi Herrod, is a fanatical fundamentalist who hates gay people. There is a Youtube video in which she says she was commanded by god to fight things like gay rights. When Tucson decided to offer joint library cards to same sex couples, she attempted to get the State Legislature to ban that. It was too close to same sex marriage in her beady eyes.

Efforts to have a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage and civil unions failed in 2006. In 2008, it passed after the Catholic Knights of Columbus and the Mormon Church blanketed the state with advertisements implying that gay folks were going to get the children of straight families.

It was very disheartening, to say the least when that passed. And in the years since I have celebrated as each new state legalized same sex marriage.

Last year a half hearted measure to put the marriage amendment on the ballot took place. I collected about 150 signatures, but in the end the organizers gave up- it was very disorganized.

This was supposed to be a video, but it turned into a slide show instead. You can see the moment the veto was announced.

And then the Center for Arizona Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom got the Republicans to pass SB 1062. Government-sanctioned discrimination directed toward LGBT citizens and visitors. All of the testimony pointedly mentioned photographers, florists, and bakers who did not want to serve same sex couples. But after the bill's purpose became known, the backers and supporters all started lying and claiming it was not anti-gay, but defending "sincerely held religious beliefs." (Exactly how does the government determine whether a belief is sincere?).

The negative publicity brought to the State of Arizona has been humiliating. I have been very depressed, unable to focus my attention. Stressful, I found myself eating chocolate to medicate myself, lol.

And then today I drove by the protest on the way home, and then told my mother I was going back. Perhaps 75 to 100 people were assembled, mostly young people. One elderly woman, I stood next to a nurse and a vet tech. Nearby was a young couple with two kids, the cute father carrying a child with the sign "Baby Against Hate." When Jan Brewer announced that she had vetoed the bill, we all cheered.

The Center for Arizona Policy will never be able to get another anti-gay bill passed in Arizona. Cathi Herrod's power is slipping away. I sent her an email- ending it with HA HA HA. Yes, immature, but the knowledge that she knows that she is on the other side of history makes me so fucking happy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Some Civil Rights facts about Arizona:

1). Between 1865 and 1956 it was illegal in Arizona for people of different races to marry. 

2). From 1912 into the 1950s, schools were racially segregated. 

3). Native Americans were not allowed to vote in Arizona until 1948. 

4). Sodomy laws were finally repealed in 2001.

5). The 2006 anti-gay marriage amendment was voted down. The 2008 anti-marriage amendment passed after heavy advertising by the LDS and Catholic churches.

These are just some of the state-level civil rights problems we have had. 

In 1976, a young man named Richard Heakin was beaten to death outside a Tucson gay bar by four teenagers and the judge let them off on probation because they had only killed a homosexual, not somebody who deserved to live. 

There is a lot of hate and fear among white, religious people in this state. White people will soon be a minority. Young people have little tolerance for hate towards other people. Values have changed, but for many people the values they developed in the 1950s or 1960s have stuck and they find change repellent. 

I have to admit, the last week or so has at times made me so discouraged. The blatant lies and the underlying hatred exposed, just makes me sad. On the other hand, the nation-wide outcry- something that would not have happened even five years ago, gives me hope that someday I will have the same civil rights as the people who want me to not have them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

How not to have a protest. Tucson's LGBT center WINGSPAN used to be run by an excellent staff, used to actually do things. Under the current director long-time staff members have been fired or quit, they flubbed the collection of signatures to repeal the anti-gay marriage amendment. The place is invisible.

They organized a last minute protest of SB 1072. Their website announced the protest while not providing clear directions as to where it was being held. It started at 4:00 PM, marching from their headquarters to the Arizona State Office Building. When I found out where they were at, I left my house at 5:10 to get there. As I drove up, the marchers were already leaving.

There were the news cameras waiting to cover the event, and the marchers were walking away. And then there was the biggest sign being carried:


Ohmigod. What a fiasco. What is ironic is that WINGSPAN has two staff members who work on anti-violence programs. 


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