Saturday, February 26, 2011

This little hummingbird hangs around my feeder in front of my house. As I was sitting on the porch it was buzzing around, perching in the orange tree.


Ohmigod, my mother was driving me crazy today. I think she was having a bad day- at the yarn store, the fancy food store, at Ace Hardware. I really needed a nap afterward.

Winter is going to have one last go this week, and then spring time. I am looking forward to warmer temperatures and some new adventures.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm sad to learn that Dwayne McDuffie died. He lived in Couzens Hall at the University of Michigan the same time I did, and while there he made two students movies. I had bit parts in each- once playing a drugged-out student and the second time as a bad actor in a super hero film (total typecasting, since I was and am a terrible actor).

I knew that he later directed a Prince video, but wasn't aware that he was successful in the comic book industry. It is weird seeing someone I knew, albeit in a small way, featured in a New York Times obituary.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A bobcat walked past my office window. After trying to get Boltgirl's attention (she was getting water, unfortunately), I grabbed my camera and went outside and around the side of the building. It stared at me, and I didn't get the greatest picture before it jumped the fence, about 20 feet away. There is something wrong with one of its hind feet, but it appears to be pretty healthy.

Bobcat don't give a damn!

I had a letter in Sunday's newspaper, basically stating that the Arizona Republicans were wasting time on abortion and firearm laws, instead of focusing on job creation.

And today I had an anonymous letter sent to my home:

Listen up rum dumb.... The only thing more annoying than government is a belly acher such as you. I'll bet you have a college education. That would explain your stupidity. Government does not create jobs. It never has. You cannot be serious if you expect government to do that which it clearly is incapable of doing. Hasn't your boy Barack given you clear evidence of that?

Oh. My. Anti-education and racist. And a coward who didn't sign his name. And just plain wrong. How does government create jobs? How about by encouraging education? And by avoiding hostile actions like targeting Mexicans and gay folks. There are reasons why big, high-paying companies are located in California, Oregon, Washington, and New England. Meanwhile, Tucson goes into feverish excitement when yet another low-paying, no benefit call center moves here.

Wonder what wildlife I will see tomorrow?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cooper's Hawk is badass! I looked out my office window and saw the young Cooper's Hawk perched on the fence, acting strange. As I shifted the blind to take a picture, it dropped something and flew away. I saw that it had caught the cute little ground squirrel that liked to scamper around in front of the window.

I went outside to see the hawk close-up, and realized that Ground Squirrel was still alive, albeit quite dazed. It tried to escape, but I caught him and picked him up.

Ground Squirrel.

I took him inside to show Sarah, and then noticed a bunch of fleas crawling on him. That's disgusting!

Ground Squirrel is cute!

I found a burrow and put Ground Squirrel in, covering the hole with a bottom portion of a ceramic flower pot so he would be safe. I like to watch him run around, sometimes I can hear him squeaking.

After I went inside, Cooper's Hawk came back, looking for dinner. It was very frustrated and ran around on the ground and along the fence.

Cooper's Hawk.

Eventually it gave up and decided to play with some sticks. It would throw them around. After that was done, it perched on the fence and stared angrily at me through the window.


I was glad Cooper's Hawk didn't go around to the front of the office because cute Cottontail Rabbit was hopping around eating stuff.

Cute Cottontail!

In unrelated news, look at the pretty flowers Evan gave me!

Best Boyfriend Ever.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Grandpa Harold went to work for Michigan Bell in the late 1920s. He was in his 20s, had not graduated from high school (he had to leave school to help run the family farm).

Northern Michigan lacked phone service except in the towns. So Grandpa went around in the 1920s and 1930s installing phone service to rural areas, connecting the existing systems. He spent a lot of time erecting poles and running lines.

Grandpa is the tall, skinny man on the right.

He moved from town to town, staying in boarding houses, working with a crew of men that included Bob, who introduced him to his sister Anna, who my grandfather married in 1931. My grandpa's nickname was "Slim" because he was so skinny.

At the top of a telephone pole.

I am certain the people of northern Michigan greatly appreciated having phone service.

At the top of another pole.

He worked for the phone company continuously except for a year or so during the Depression, when he was laid off and worked for a wooden dish factory.

Oval Dish Factory in Traverse City.

Working for the phone company allowed my grandfather to raise a family of four children, support his wife, purchase a cottage and part of a cabin, pay for a house, enjoy trips throughout the United States and Canada.

Harold in the 1950s.

My grandfather retired from Michigan Bell in 1964.

Posing with the cake.

He received free telephone service afterward.

Grandpa lived for another 7.5 years, dying of a heart attack in April 1972. He enjoyed his retirement- it allowed him to hunt, fish, draw, carve, make snowshoes and dog sleds. Some of my best memories from when I was a child were the times I spent with him.

Can you imagine how many people work for the same company for 35 years nowadays? I have worked for my company for 18.5 years- that is a crazy amount of time, but most of the people I started with are still here, mainly because we have an awesome boss.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It is spring time and there are lots of birds out at Sweetwater Wetlands. Here are some pictures I took as Evan and I wandered around:


Harris hawk.

Male and female buffleheads.

Red-winged blackbird.

Northern shoveler, male.

White-crowned sparrow.

Mallard, male.

We also saw Gambel's quail, a yellow finch, cinnamon teal, ruddy duck, grackle, killdeer, and American coot.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mummy has been here three months and I haven't gone crazy. She is enjoying herself, mostly, and I have been spoiling her.

Last night Evan arrived and we hopped in the trusty Ford Focus and went to Rosa's for supper. Mummy had the flan for dessert.

Today we drove east to the Amerind Foundation and walked through the museum, had a picnic lunch, and then finished looking at the museum. Lots of interesting things, I think my favorite items were the Spanish era artifacts from the Terrenate fortress (1776-1781).

She is watching Lawrence Welk and then Keeping Up Appearances on socialist PBS tonight. The Republicans are trying to defund PBS, since anything educational is evil. I'm getting really fed up with these dumbfuck Teabaggers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Honey Badger. It really doesn't give a shit.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy V Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snowball is scared of the Magic 8 Ball.

But still says, "Ask the Magic 8 a question!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

At work I am looking at bags of animal bone from sites in Phoenix, dating between 1920 and 1945. I open each bag, sort the bone into identifiable and unidentifiable piles. The identifiable bone is then sorted by animal species and meat cut. I enter the information into a spread sheet, recording the weight, butchering method, and a retail meat cut ranking. Science!

The residents of the neighborhoods were mostly eating beef, followed by pork. Very small amounts of chicken, mutton, and geese. Occasionally I find some fish bones or pigeons (not sure if the latter were eaten). When I am finished analyzing the bone I will write a chapter on meat consumption, adding in some information I am collecting from contemporary newspaper accounts. Science!

I will admit, it gets tedious after a couple of weeks. And the bone dust and dirt make me very sneezy. I hope whatever I write is interesting.

In other news, I took my mother to the supermarket last night and she ran into things three times with the cart. The third time I said, unhelpfully, "be more careful" and she snapped, "I can't help it." She becomes so focused on getting to the yoghurt or the toilet paper, that anything in the way (including other customers) deserves to be run over. I have been really embarrassed when she literally bumps people to get them to move out of her way. 'Excuse me," she will say. I don't know what the hurry is, except my mother has always acted a bit odd around strangers.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

On the trip to and from Flagstaff, I listed to Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov on CD. I have the last CD to listen to, so don't tell me how it would end!

I arrived to help Evan celebrate his birthday. He liked his presents!

We went to the Himalayan Grill for supper.

The next morning Evan made me a yummy breakfast. We then headed out to look at some archaeology sites. The first place we went to was a natural tank, holding water. This was important up in the Flagstaff area, where there aren't many sources of water.

On the walls around the water, there were a number of petroglyphs, carved on the walls of the canyon.


Did you know I wrote a book, Rock Art of Arizona?

The water was frozen. I wondered if there were fishes hidden beneath the ice.


It was a lovely day, and I had a great time hiking around the wilderness.

Happy guys.

We then traveled to an area near Wupatki National Monument. Driving along a rutted dirt road, you could see clumps of rocks poking up above the grass. While some of these were rocky outcrops, others were the fallen down walls of rooms.

Evan walks up to the ruin.

All over the place lay pottery sherds- black on white, black on red, plainwares, and corrugated. I picked them up to look at them, and then carefully returned them to the same spot. It is illegal to remove artifacts from sites, and besides, I don't want that stuff cluttering up my house! The pottery was made at a number of different places and traded in. People carried the water off to distant water sources to bring the water back to their homes.

Pretty sherds.

That night Evan made me supper and we played cards before I fell asleep, drugged up on anti-histamines. This morning we went and had French toast and hash browns. So yummy!

And now I am back home and Joey is sitting on my lap. Once again, it was an awesome weekend.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I awoke to find most of the water frozen in the house. One of those very rare times when the temperature drops below 20 degrees in Tucson. I waited around until my bathroom sink had unfrozen, and then off to work, traveling north to the ranch site to find that no one was working yet, since everyone was busy dealing with frozen or burst pipes.

I stopped by Swade Barbershop and Paul trimmed my hair. He told me a disturbing story.

Post haircut. I told him to leave the goatee alone.

At work the office was warming up. In the afternoon a bird was calling from atop a pole. I thought it might be an owl, since it sounded different. I used the telephoto aspect of my camera and quickly saw it was the Cooper's Hawk that lives near the office.

Jumping off to fly.

The hawk jumped just as I took its picture.

A closer look.

At work I am identifying animal bones from home sites in Phoenix dating to the 1920s-1940s. Identifying historic period butchered bone can be really difficult and tedious. Especially when the person threw them into a fire afterward. There are a large number of pieces that cannot be identified to animal species or meat cut.

After I got home the last water unfroze (hot water, kitchen sink). There is a small leak outside where a pipe cracked, but so small I will wait until next week to get it fixed. I draped big Holiday lights over the offending pipes and then put a garbage can in front and put a blanket over everything so the pipes don't freeze again. Still, I have three sinks running at this very moment.

Unfortunately, my lovely cactus froze and fell down.

Tomorrow- a trip north to help Evan celebrate his birthday!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's cold in Tucson and my house is probably in the low 60s. Mummy is not happy about that, but I've got the space heaters going and cooked something in the oven to heat the kitchen and living room up. She is now sitting in front of the Telly watching Keeping Up Appearances. Occasionally I hear her laughing.

Meet Senator Sylvia Allen. In 2009 she stated at a hearing, twice, that the earth was 6,000-years-old and that it was alright to mine uranium next to the Grand Canyon.

Sylvia Allen.

In today's paper she basically says that all scientists exploring climate change are either liars or use flawed data. She has sponsored a bill that removes all Federal jurisdiction over air pollution, because that is a state's rights issue. I doubt that she understands the basic notion that the wind can move air pollution, say from Los Angeles, to Arizona. She blathers on about "freedom to breathe" and says that pollution is harmless.

I went through the long list of bills she has sponsored or co-sponsored. About 10 are pro-gun, eight are for making it harder to have an abortion, and another nine basically set up the state for lawsuits with the federal government. As far as I can tell, none promote education, or focus on job creation for the state of Arizona.

It doesn't surprise me that Allen isn't interested in education or job creation. Republicans, at least the majority of elected ones in this state, are against education and are mostly concerned in making sure the rich pay fewer taxes while the poor pay more. It is very discouraging to have people like this woman making laws.

Joey isn't impressed either.

Newer›  ‹Older

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

comments powered by Disqus