Tuesday, June 30, 2009

At Doctor Fred's office for my annual physical. The physician's assistant was pleased to see I have lost 20 pounds and noted that my blood pressure had improved. I asked Dr. Fred to look and see what I weighed when I first went to him. In 1996, I was 160 pounds.

Holy emaciated crap! MidLifeCrisis2009 Homer is now at 193-195 lbs, depending on which scale I get on. I cannot imagine being 33 pounds skinnier- there wouldn't be anything left of me.

So we talked about optimal weight and 185 seems like the proper goal.

And in other news, I'm driving up to Phoenix to get Forrest at the airort- he has been gone for a month. Looking forward to seeing my buddy and showing him the big surprise.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday afternoon in the pool with Ken.

Perfect weather and fun company.

According to Doug, this is a palo verde borer. He is my go-to man for all of my entomology questions. I'll be seeing him in late July when he is in town for a bug conference.

Palo Verde Borer.

Going swimming again, summer has arrived with all of its hot and sticky days.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'm standing in the pool at the house Sandy, Mark, and Zane will be moving into on July 7.


The water was 88 degrees. I'm part lizard, so I would like it to be in the low 90s. The monsoon clouds are overhead, eventually I had to get out of the pool because I was wondering if it was going to be stormy.

I did all of my weekend chores yesterday afternoon, so it was really a lazy day. Tomorrow morning I'm back to the gym, now that my knee is back to normal, and beginning work on the next 10 pounds of MidLifeCrisis2009.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Does this pit make my butt look big?

The safety vest and hard hat are today's of-so-necessary fashion accessories at the sewer plant.

I found this transitional Empire-to-San Pedro style point in the fill of the pit, which was about three feet deep. Also, a grinding stone (mano), flaked stone waste, and rabbit, bird, rodent, and deer bones.

I came home covered in dirt. I am still blowing it out of my nose hours later. I worked hard today!

Ohmigod, I have never flown to a South American country to cheat on my spouse and leave my four sons at home on Father's Day. Because I'm a big old faggot and I am not allowed to get married in most states in the fricken U. S. of A. and if I lived in Arkansas I wouldn't be allowed to adopt children because I'm a nasty homo, and everyone knows that homos are evil folks.

Yessirree, Republicans politicans have the bestest traditional family values. I only wish I could become a Republican, but even the Log Cabineers and that new group who aligns with hateful motherfuckers wouldn't take me because, honestly, I'm not a hypocrite and I don't mind paying taxes.

Realllllly, I guess one aspect of not being allowed to get married here in Arizona (thanks Mormons!!!), is that I cannot commit adultery!!! But at least Senator Vitter, Senator Ensign, and Governor Sanford cheated on their wives with other women, not like Governor McGreevey who did it with a man! See, Republicans have better morals or something similar.

And that is all I have to say on this topic. Except to wonder who will be the next sanctimonious, gay-hating bastard to get caught with his pants down.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Well Summer has arrived. The evaporative cooler is rapidly becoming less effective. I tossed and turned last night. I would have slept on the couch in the living room, where it is less hot, but Joey did what she does periodically (peed on the cushion), so that wasn't happening.

I am out at the dig site toiling away. I am still losing weight- now at 199. My pants are falling down. I can wear shirts that I haven't worn in three or four years. Yeah me.

I am working on my secret project. My fingers are sore.

Starting to think about what to make for the July 4 volleyball party. Something red, white, and blue? Perhaps a white cake with whipped cream and raspberries and blueberries?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I awoke early and was driving back from Bisbee by 6:20. Near Benson I carefully swerved around a rattlesnake sunning on the asphalt.


Richard, Roger, and I stayed with Ray, Cobban, and Terry in a lovely house perched halfway up a hill. We sat on the porch and had some drinks and chatted before meeting the guys for dinner.

Cobban and Ray.

Bisbee is a lovely old mining town and the vegetation is quite different from Tucson, reflecting it being 3,000 feet higher. Besides the typical desert plants we saw many peach and apricot trees bearing fruit.

Century plant.

Roger, Richard, and I wandered about looking at houses and gardens and plants. I think if we had some extra money we'd buy a pair of neighboring houses and go to Bisbee to enjoy weekends away from the hustle and bustle of our big cities.

Roger, Homer. and Richard.

On Friday and Saturday night I met many interesting people.

Homer and another Richard.

I enjoyed some fattening food, for the first time in a month. People noticed the weight I have lost during MidLifeCrisis2009.

Onion rings!

I purposely left my camera at home for much of the time (although Cobban will likely have some incriminating photos), so you will have to take my word that it was a good time at Bisbee Gay Pride 2009.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What I'm up to:

- being at work at 5:30 AM out at the dig site has my internal clock all messed up.
- I banged my knee last week and it still aches enough that I haven't been able to go to the gym.
- however, I am down to 202 lbs (from 216) and my pants are falling down. Based upon what I see in the mirror, I think 190 is the likely goal.
- going to Gay Pride in Bisbee in a few minutes, hanging out with Ray and Cobban, Richard and Roger. I am going to be full of pride and maybe I will find a cowboy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just to be clear, I have not had an affair with a Republican politician. Any rumors you hear about that are completely, utterly untrue.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How did I bruise my knee? Apparently I banged it on something at the dig site on Friday- now it hurts enough that I did not go to the gym to continue with MidLifeCrisis2009.

Sam Elliott or Pornstache?

I was placed in a singularly bad mood this afternoon. I came home and watched mid-1980s music videos on Youtube to calm my nerves.

Henny-Penny and today's egg.

Henny-Penny knows now that she is supposed to go to the laundry room when it starts to get dark. She has taken to laying eggs on the top of the washing machine- very convenient for me since I don't have to search for them. She is as adorable as ever.

I am now going to go work on my secret project. If I told you what it was, it wouldn't be a secret anymore.

Richard asked me to make Roger's 50th birthday cake. Roger is the best cook I know, so making his cake was a bit scary. He asked me to incorporate chocolate and hazelnut flavors.

I made a practice cake two weekends ago and practice cupcakes last Monday night (the people at the dig enjoyed those). Each time I tweaked the recipe for the cake and frosting slightly.

The Cake.

I made a basic chocolate mayonnaise cake (adding a half batch so I could have three layers) and added about four tablespoons hazelnut oil to the batter. In the end you couldn't taste the hazelnut much but the extra oil made the cake very moist. This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever made.

I made a middle filling layer from one and a half packages of cream cheese, one cup powdered sugar, a teaspoon vanilla, and liberal amounts of hazelnut oil and Frangelico liquor. The frosting was three and a half packages of cream cheese, about three cups powdered sugar, three cups or so of Nutella, and more hazelnut oil and Frangelico. It makes a very soft frosting that is easy to spread and has a light mouth-feel, although I am sure it is wicked in terms of calories.

Chocolate leaves and roasted hazelnut flowers.

I assembled the cake by placing the bottom layer, covered that with the chocolate frosting, second cake layer, white filling, top layer, and covered that with chocolate frosting. It went into the freezer to set for about an hour. Then I brought it out and frosted the sides.

I had made the chocolate leaves early in the morning- melted bittersweet chocolate chips, picked and washed a variety of orange leaves from my tree in the frontyard, and dipped the back side of the leaves into the chocolate (so you get the nice leaf veining) and onto a parchment lined pan and then into the freezer to get hard. When you remove them from the freezer you have to let them sit for a minute or two before you peel the leaves off, and only about a third come out successfully. I was good and didn't eat the rest (I tried one and they have a faint orange taste from the leaves). I roasted some hazelnuts in the oven and rubbed them to remove their skins. I sort of randomly placed the hazelnuts on and then arranged the leaves. It looks very pretty and everyone thinks it is hard, but it isn't.

Roger cut thin slices and visually it was very nice with the lighter brown chocolate frosting and the creamy white middle layer. And how did it taste? It was awesome, Roger loved it and everyone said it was delicious. I am very happy to have made a special cake for a special man.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

At the gym I saw the hot Middle Eastern man. I wonder if he is ancestry is Iranian? I note that many of the men protesting the faked election results in Iran are very attractive.

I have been watching carefully what I eat, no alcohol, and going to the gym regularly these last few weeks, along with working out on the dig. In the last month I have gone from 216 pounds to 206 pounds. I had to use the next hole for my belt and certain clothes are no longer tight. According to the Body Mass Index, I am still overweight and frankly, I can see a few places where some more weight can come off. My initial goal is to get down to 195 and see what happens.

Starting to lift weights again, after so many years, is a little scary. Luckily, Abe has offered to show me what to do and I have a dandy book with pictures of menz who don't look like me, but are shown lifting weights correctly, so I won't injure myself. Not sure exactly what my overall goals will be. I have noticed that I have more energy and that my stomach doesn't look as huge as it was a month ago. Yeah for me!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am getting tan at the dig. I noticed that the sun gets right through my shirt.

Tired old thang.

I have been working hard and not sleeping as much as I should. Little Snowball wakes me up at 3 AM, pawing at me because he is hungry for his special food. He gets more and more rowdy until he gets his way. Next week the dig is starting at 5:30 AM. Oh!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What I found today. Out at the sewage plant I spent the morning completing and checking paperwork. We fill out forms for everything we excavate, since this is the way we preserve information on the features. Each pit gets at least one form, sometimes more if it is deep or large. We also take digital photographs, along with black/white negative and color slide images.

I spent much of the day excavating the dirt sitting on top of the floor of a 3,000-year-old pit structure. Luckily, in most areas the dirt just popped off the floor (which was burned in many places). After break, I sat down and literally the first scrape of my trowel I found the San Pedro style spearhead (right below). I held it up for Kevin, who was digging nearby, to see and it came over and admired it, and I scraped with my trowel and I looked down and saw the rounded edge of a stone item.

Almost all of the stone on the site was brought in by people, and because it was so round I knew it was manufactured by someone thousands of years ago. "Look at that!" I said and pulled it out. When I flipped it over, Kevin and I could see that it had a scratched design and a hole through it. I am very lucky to find these interesting things- some people have been working at the site for months and haven't found anything like this.

Carved stone disk and spear point (click picture to see bigger image).

A disk had been found nearby in a pit several weeks earlier- that one had a design of dots on one side and lines on the other, with red pigment pushed into the incised patterns. As far as I know, these are extremely rare.

The disk could have been used as a pendant or perhaps as a spindle whorl (used to spin plant fiber or dog hair into yarn). Our ground stone analyst will eventually look at it to see if their are clues to how it was used.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Cathi Herrod is an evil "person." She leads the group Center for Arizona Policy, which pushes for fundamentalist "Christian" ideals. For at least 18 years she has fought, often successfully, against every LGBT legislation or ordinance in the State of Arizona. It doesn't matter how small or insignificant these measures are. Cathi Herrod HATES LGBT people. A few years back the City of Tucson decided to offer joint library cards to lesbian or gay couples and she tried to stop that from happening.

Words cannot describe how much I loathe this woman. She makes a living promoting hatred against gays and lesbians. She is our own little version of Maggie Gallagher, minus that unattractive red jacket that Maggoty wears in every interview.

Last year the voters in Arizona passed Prop 102 which was a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. At the time the Yes of Prop 102 claimed that they were not interested in changing existing domestic partnerships. Well, they are a bunch of fucking liars, of course, and now the Arizona State Legislature has passed a bill, backed by Herrod's group, that would rescind the Domestic Partner benefits created by Janet Napolitano when she was our governor. The families of about 750 state employees, both straight and gay, will lose their health care benefits, saving the state about three million dollars. And that piece of stinking crap Herrod's group's website claims they are "pro-family." I don't see how taking health insurance coverage away from little kids is in any way "pro-family."

So now the bill is waiting to be signed by our Republican governor, Jan Brewer. Will she sign it? I dunno. Hopefully she has heard from the state employees that will be affected by this bill. She has a soft spot for children, so maybe she will think about little kids not being able to see a doctor. On the other hand, maybe she, like that Satanic Cathi Herrod, doesn't care about LGBT folks. I am not very hopeful.

Can I just say how much I wish the fundamentalists would have their make-believe Tribulation and just go away and leave the rest of us alone?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The pool was 80 degrees, we are having a strange cool summer here, with cloudy afternoons, so Richard's pool isn't as warm as usual.

The guys, game day 2.

I made potato salad (could have used more mustard), a scratch angelfood cake (so easy), and lemon curd (a very naughty calorie topping for the cake).

Fu manchu!

Some new players this year- I told Zach he should bring his handsome boyfriend and they brought along Jeremy and James. A good time was had by all four.

Todd and Zach.

Patrick and I drove together and we talked about a lot of different things. Sometimes I tell him things I don't tell other people.


Afterwards, I came home and couldn't find Henny-Penny to put her in the laundry room. I worried and worried about her, but she was outside my bedroom door at 5 AM looking for breakfast- I guess she found somewhere to roost. She better behave though, I don't need the worry wrinkles!

This morning it actually feels cold in my house, the evaporative cooler is working so well. I had to get up and turn it off. I've got all my chores done and have to think about what to do today.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I told myself, "You are going to find a point today." And I did, although it was missing its tip.

Spear head (click pictures to see close ups).

During the San Pedro phase (2,800 to 3,200 years ago), people hunted animals and conducted warfare with different techniques and tools. At open-air sites, we tend to only find their spear heads (the bow and arrow had not yet been invented in the American Southwest). In dry sites, such as caves, archaeologists have found snares and nets made from plant fiber and human hair that were used to catch small animals and birds. Wooden clubs, useful for beating things on their heads have also been found. I'm not sure if bolas were used here or not. Sometimes people would have drives where they would line up and beat the bushes and the animals would run ahead, get directed by people standing on the sides, and end up being killed in an enclosure. I am sure that little kids were stationed in the fields to kill any rabbits or rodents that came looking for a meal.

Animal bones, mostly jackrabbit.

As I am digging I collect any animal bones that I see since they break easily. Other bones are found as I am screening the dirt. We use 1/4 inch mesh screen, and I know that some of the smaller bones fall through the screen. But if we screened through window mesh it would take much longer and we only have so much time to dig before construction starts.

In other news, I went to the gym and when I came home I went running, going a little further than I had on Tuesday. My legs are not as sore as they were yesterday. According to the scale at the gym I weight 211.6 pounds with my gym clothes on.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I have decided to have a boring midlife crisis and take up running. I bought running shoes last night (they have nice blue stripes). Today I put them on and walked to the corner and started jogging.

I am so out of shape. I run a little, then a walk a little, and so forth. I'll do this again on Thursday, and plan on going a little farther. I want to be able to go running with Forrest when he comes back from North Carolina.

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